Monsey Couple Accused of Welfare Fraud Dumps Lawyers

Days after being arrested, a Monsey couple has dumped the two lawyers hired to defend them against charges of welfare fraud and fraudulently obtaining federal rent subsidies to live in their house that’s appraised at $1.4 million.

John Edwards and David Goldstein – two of the county’s most prominent defense lawyers – got the heave-ho from Nathan and Mindy Misky prior to an appearance last night in Haverstraw Justice Court.

Edwards and Goldstein said they were not given a reason for their dismissal after appearing initially in court and helping the couple make $50,000 bail each following their arrest Tuesday morning on one count each of third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud.

The couple was not represented by counsel last night. Justice John Grant adjourned the case until Aug. 13 after prosecutor Gary Lee Heavner told him that an investigation was continuing and a grand jury would not hear the case today, as planned.

The Rockland District Attorney’s Office has accused the couple of stealing $26,000 in federal Section 8 housing benefits between February, 2006 and April, 2007. The couple, who have 12 children, are accused of placing ownership of their mansion – six bedrooms and three baths – under a holding couple and then applying for rental vouchers as the tenants.

Prosecutors also accused them of fraudulently obtaining more than $49,000 in food stamps and Medicaid benefits through the Rockland Social Services Department between April, 2006 and February, 2008.

They also are accuses of providing false financial information to obtain benefits, including not reporting bank accounts containing hundreds of thousands of dollars and failing to report ownership in multiple properties valued at several millions dollars in Rockland and Sullivan counties., DA Thomas Zugibe has said.

The couple could face federal charges since the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General is working with Rockland prosecutors fraud issues involving
HUD programs.

Steve Lieberman

Steve Lieberman joined The Journal News as an editor in February 1984 and became a reporter during the spring of 1986. He has covered police, courts and legal issues for more than a decade, after reporting on county, town, village and state governments and general issues. He received more than a dozen state awards for writing and reporting. Born and raised in The Bronx, he has lived in Rockland since 1988.