Crime

Seven Food Stamp Recipients Pleaded Guilty for Taking Part in $5 Million Food Stamp Fraud

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Thursday in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 7-women pleaded guilty to receiving food stamps as part of a $5 million fraud scheme, defrauding the government of more than $20,000 at just one store.

The Charlotte Observer reports that a state court judge ruled that the women who pleaded guilty will be able to dodge jail sentences and probation if they pay back the money by December 31, 2017.

The seven women who pleaded guilty include:

  • Jatonica Williams, age 31 — $5,238 in fraud
  • Dequitta White, age 31 — $3,070 in fraud
  • Labrecia White, age 24 — $2,962 in fraud
  • Shenisa Davis, age 36 — $2,549 in fraud
  • Victoria Sanders, age 25 — $2,234 in fraud
  • Kimberly Johnson, age 28 — $2,195 in fraud
  • and Brooke Rogers, age 27 — $2,134 in fraud

Let’s just say… these women got REALLY LUCKY! All seven of them pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fraud charges, and promised to pay the money back in exchange for a 30-day suspended sentence and two years’ probation. However, if they pay back all the money before the end of the year, all charges will be dismissed.

But it’s a different story for the store owners. Three of the store owners involved in the food stamp scam face 5-years behind bars and are to pay back up to $5 million. But if the store owners agree to testify against the food stamp recipients. they could be eligible for reduced sentences in federal court.

According to South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Sam Jones, who prosecutes food stamp fraud cases, says food stamp purchases are not to be used for anything other than non-prepared food, and food stamps for cash is not allowed. This particular instance involving the 7-women happened between March 2014 to 2016.

Jones adds the store owners trafficked benefits and exchanged food stamps for cash while the 7-women used their EBT cards to buy prohibited items like hot food, beer, cigarettes or took cash back.

If you think this is the first case, unfortunately, this is nothing knew, because food stamp fraud schemes are actually quite common in the United States. Back in May, a Baltimore man illegally trafficked food stamps, and wound up with a 4-year prison sentence, and ordered to pay back $3.7 million to the U.S. government. In Southwest Florida alone, investigators found more than $20 million worth of food stamp fraud, and in Chicago, 140 retailers were cited for food stamp fraud.

About Haley Hamilton

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2 Comments

  1. Kalev

    July 31, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    “knew” in lieu of new? Come on, is Farrah Hamilton an illegal that can’t use the English language correctly?

  2. Kalev

    July 31, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    These women got off easy, most likely because of their skin color. This is so wrong, $2,000 and more to get a misdemeanor conviction, light sentence and lighter probation for a felony. Guess we can call that black privilege?

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