A North Hollywood couple was charged Monday with welfare fraud and perjury in a scheme that authorities said may have cost Los Angeles County more than $100,000.
Walter Ziko, 28, and his wife, Rosie, 26, were charged with two counts each of welfare fraud and perjury, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan M. Speer. They are to be arraigned today.
The couple received at least $86,000 since June, 1980, from two fraudulent claims for Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Speer said. The perjury count stems from lies told to welfare officials so that they could receive the money, Speer said.
Authorities are continuing their investigation and have evidence that the couple filed other false claims that will boost the total to more than $100,000, Speer said.
In one instance, the Zikoses applied for welfare using their real names and a series of fraudulent children’s names, Speer said. In another case, they applied for welfare using fictitious names for themselves as well as the children, the prosecutor said.
Speer said the alleged fraud came to light from an anonymous tip.
Armed with a search warrant, Los Angeles County district attorney’s office investigators searched the couple’s apartment Friday in the 11000 block of Burbank Boulevard, Speer said.
They found numerous driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, baptismal certificates and other pieces of identification issued in various names, Speer said.
The Zikoses are being held in the Van Nuys jail in lieu of $252,500 bail each.