Staten Island woman accused of scamming Medicaid, living in mansion

Tim Fleischer reports from Staten Island.
November 14, 2013 3:58:04 PM PST
Prosecutors claim the woman accused of welfare fraud owns a 2.4 million dollar house in Todt Hill.

Hasime Lika left court in Brooklyn facing serious welfare fraud and grand larceny charges and began running when she reached our cameras.

Brooklyn prosecutors accuse Lika of scamming Medicaid out of more than $47,000 in benefits.

"The defendant applied for and received Medicaid benefits for herself and her children that she wasn't entitled to," assistant district attorney Joel Greenwald said.

Prosecutors say Lika first applied for the benefits in 2006, but then they claim she and her husband purchased a 2.4-million dollar mansion without a mortgage in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island.

"That was in 2007, a couple of months after she applied for her initial application for benefits for herself and her children," Greenwald said.

The house, which has a large fountain in the front yard, is also undergoing renovation work. According to a city, work permit contractors are building a cabana in the back yard.

Prosecutors also revealed that Lika's common law husband and father of her children, Bill Lika, is a well-known landlord, owning more than 14 buildings in Brooklyn and worth millions of dollars.

She's accused in what city welfare officials describe as a case of hiding income and luxurious resources from 2006 to 2011.

"Her name is on the deed and the mortgage for rental property that she purchased with Bill Lika, I believe, in 2010," Greenwald said.

After Hasime Lika pleaded not guilty, her attorney also remained tight lipped as he hurried from the courthouse. Lika also tried to avoid our cameras and our questions.

She faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty.