Felony welfare fraud charges against Salem legislator may be dropped if he repaysBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
August 02. 2018 10:04PM
NASHUA — A state representative from Salem who is facing felony welfare fraud charges may have his charges dismissed in exchange for paying restitution, according to newly filed court records.
Rep. John Manning, 66, of Maclarnon Road, Salem, is accused of two welfare fraud offenses that took place several years ago and involved more than $13,000.
The complaints allege that Manning falsely accumulated $13,354.50 in welfare assistance benefits from 2013 to 2015.
“The primary issue in this case is restitution. This may be a conditional nol-pros,” Judge Charles Temple wrote in court records last month following a dispositional conference; nol-pros means the case will no longer be prosecuted and the charges dismissed.
A plea deal has not yet been reached, according to court documents filed at Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua.
If the case does go to trial, the trial date is tentatively set for Dec. 15.
The complaints allege that Manning “intentionally made false statements to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services which would affect his eligibility for assistance in that he stated that his niece, Gabrielle Wojtyna, was a household member when in fact she was not residing in the home,” states the indictments, adding Manning received cash and food stamp assistance of $12,640.50 for that offense between March 2013 and September 2014 in Nashua.
Court records also allege that in June and July 2015 in Nashua, Manning received $714 in welfare assistance that he was not entitled to after he “intentionally failed to disclose a change in his circumstances to the NHDHS which would affect his eligibility for assistance in that he failed to disclose that his son, Stephen Manning, was employed by Rockingham Cafe.”
Manning is facing two charges of public welfare assistance acts prohibited; one of the offenses is a Class B felony that carries a possible sentence of up to seven years in prison, while the other offense is a Class A felony that carries a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison, according to court documents.
Manning is a horse trainer and a strong supporter of Rockingham Park.
He is also an advocate for casino gambling in New Hampshire, and currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. He has served as a state representative from 2002-2006, and since 2010.
The Republican House member serves Rockingham County District 8.