JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY – Madeline Navaro, 32, of Jersey City has been arrested and charged with extortion in relation to taking money from men, claiming she was pregnant with their child.
According to reports, Navaro was involved in a 73 month operation involving her taking money from men she created relationships with, later telling them she was pregnant to get money for an abortion. Reportedly, Navaro had over 30 men she frequently had sexual relationships with each month.
Authorities discovered Navaro’s scheme from a separate incident involve a welfare fraud investigation. According to reports, Navaro claimed she had 6 kids in the house receiving over $2000 a month in food stamps, $450 in cash benefits and receiving WIC benefits. Socials services began their investigation when they discovered the 3 of the children she used to receive benefits were attending school districts in Union and Middlesex counties. When investigator went to the registered address of Navaro, they found a lavish lifestyle unreported to them.
According to reports, Navaro had two BWM’s, $25000 in jewelry, designer bags and clothing, expensive electronics, and other high valued items in her home. Navaro had no source of employment and according to documents, she was only receiving public assistance. Navaro also had Section 8 which she allowed a friend to use while she was living in her $250,000 home.
When investigators found out about the children attending schools in other districts, investigator from the Department of Human Services questioned the children at their schools. According to one report, Juan Sanchez, age 8, told investigators that Navaro was a friend of his mother. Investigators concluded he was unaware of the scheme and only visited Navaro’s home on occasion to play with her real children.
After investigators found out that Sanchez was not one of her children, they brought Navaro in for questioning. What investigators discovered next was shocking.
Navaro had a friend who worked for the city’s vital records department who assisted her in falsifying documents to make it appear the 3 children she was claiming were hers. The documents she retrieved allowed her to claim benefits for the children. The documents had different names than what the official documents had in the possession of the biological parents. Because the names were different, and benefits were being claims in different counties, social services were unable to pinpoint the fact that four different women were getting benefit for each of the three children.
Investigators then visited the home of Navaro which was subsidized by Section 8. When they got to the home, they saw that Navaro did not live there, but a friend of Navaro, Sierra Rivera, 34, of Jersey City was occupying the residence. Rivera was questioned in regards to why she was staying there and the whereabouts of Navaro’s residence.
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