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Former Assistant District Attorney
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

SNAP claim leads to charges of government program fraud

| Dec 1, 2020 | Federal Crimes

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that each state administers to provide funds for low-income households to ensure they can have nutritious meals. SNAP provides monthly benefits to millions of eligible families and individuals across the country. It is also likely that the program pays out millions in fraudulent claims for financial assistance. Nevertheless, the recently established Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Humans Services has zealously undertaken tracking down and prosecuting government program fraud by retailers and benefit recipients.

Public assistance programs like SNAP carry strict requirements for eligibility. Generally, these requirements involve limits on one’s income, number of dependents and other factors. Receiving SNAP or other funds by falsifying one’s eligibility claim may result in serious criminal charges, including felony counts.

Local woman charged

Recently, authorities arrested a woman whom the MDHS believes has committed fraud by receiving more SNAP benefits than her eligibility allows. The MDHS investigators say the woman did not include her husband’s income as required when she applied for eligibility for the program, formerly called “food stamps.” As a result, they claim she received over $27,000 in extra benefits.

Mississippi officials takes seriously any allegations of government program fraud, the evidence of which is the severe penalties for such crimes. Depending on the amount of money involved, those convicted may face years behind bars, thousands in fines and an order to repay the fraudulent amount. With so much at stake, those facing similar situations would be wise to reach out for skilled legal assistance.