Fifth man pleads guilty to benefits theft probe

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A fifth person has pleaded guilty to theft as part of an investigation into more than $2 million in government benefits that were going to New Jersey families that made too much to receive them.

The Asbury Park Press reports 31-year-old Moshe Hirschmann entered his plea Thursday and paid about $53,400 in restitution. Prosecutors say the Lakewood man under-reported his income to receive Medicaid and food stamp benefits between January 2009 and December 2015. Hirschmann’s wife Nechama was also charged with theft, but her charges were dismissed Thursday after he said he was solely responsible. Hirschmann will now enter a pretrial intervention program, which if completed, could result in his charge being dismissed. His attorney says the outcome of the hearing was a “great result.”