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2 Oahu women charged with welfare fraud

Two Oahu women have been charged with welfare fraud according to the state attorney general’s office.

Rowaena Baker, 35, of Aiea, was charged with first degree theft. The complaint against her alleges that between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2017, she applied for and received public assistance benefits to which she was not entitled. This resulted in more than $20,000 in overpayments to Baker from the state Department of Human Services.

Lucyma Maifeaa, 41, of Waianae, is also charged with first degree theft. The complaint against her alleges that between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2014, she applied for and received public assistance benefits to which she was not entitled. This resulted in DHS making more than $20,000 in overpayments to Maifea.

First degree theft is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Baker and Maifea are each presumed innocent unless and until found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Public assistance benefits must go to people who need them and legitimately qualify,” said Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin in a written statement. “Sadly, some abuse the system.”

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