Fifteen residents sentenced for fraudulently receiving SNAP bene - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Fifteen residents sentenced for fraudulently receiving SNAP benefits

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BATON ROUGE (KNOE 8 News) - Fifteen Louisiana residents have been convicted of receiving more than $116,000 in ineligible benefits after an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' (DCFS) Fraud and Recovery Unit.

Chaka Bradford of Minden was sentenced in the 26th Judicial Court to five years supervised probation after illegally obtaining $20,276 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and $2,463 in Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) benefits. Bradford received these benefits by misrepresenting her household composition and was ordered to make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $22,739.

Dale Slayton of Covington assisted his wife, Shannon Colon, in obtaining $21,905 in ineligible SNAP benefits. Slayton was sentenced in the 22nd Judicial District Court to three years probation, community service and ordered to make full restitution in the amount of $21,905 to DCFS. Court action is pending on Shannon Colon.

Misty H. Fletcher of Winnsboro illegally obtaining $16,793 in SNAP benefits and was sentenced in the 5th Judicial District Court to five years hard labor, which was suspended, and placed on five of unsupervised probation on the condition that she pay a fine, court costs, and make restitution in the amount to DCFS. Fletcher received these benefits after by failing to report her spouse as a household member and concealed his income.

Jimmy and Kristi Newman pled guilty to illegally obtaining $14,124 in SNAP benefits after Mrs. Newman failed to report her husband as a household member and Mr. Newman provided bogus verification to DCFS in order to assist Mrs. Newman in obtaining these ineligible benefits. The Newmans were sentenced in the 21st Judicial District Court to six month in the parish jail, which was suspended, placed on six months probation and ordered to make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $14,124.

Mary Goings of Lafayette pled guilty to theft greater than $1,500 after receiving ineligible Family Independence Temporary Assistance (FITAP), Strategies To Empower People (STEP) and SNAP benefits when she concealed her husband as a household member. Goings also received ineligible CCAP benefits after providing false employment and wage verifications. Goings was sentenced in the 15th Judicial District Court to three years hard labor, which was suspended, 24 months of supervised probation and ordered to pay court costs, a $350 fine and make full restitution in the amount of $6,867 to DCFS.

Tara Foster of New Roads pled guilty to illegally obtaining $6,000 in SNAP and CCAP benefits after failing to report her husband as a household member. The 18th Judicial District Court sentenced Foster to two years supervised probation, and ordered her to pay fines, fees and make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $6,000.

Brenda Blalock of Crowley pled guilty to theft greater than $1,500 after concealing her income to receive $5,074 in ineligible SNAP benefits. Blalock was sentenced in the 15th Judicial District Court to six months hard labor, which was suspended, placed on 12 months of supervised probation, and ordered to pay court costs, a $100 fine and make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $5,074.

Kassia Culpepper of Denham Springs was sentenced in the 21st Judicial District Court after pleading guilty to illegally obtaining $5,025 in SNAP benefits by failing to report her earned income. Culpepper was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to make full restitution in the amount of $5,025 to DCFS.

Megan Baker-Jolly of Webster Parish pled guilty to illegally obtaining $4,332 in SNAP benefits after under-reporting her husband's income and altering his check stubs. Baker-Jolly was sentenced in the 26th Judicial District Court to pay a $100 fine or serve 30 days in jail. Baker-Jolly made full restitution to DCFS prior to sentencing.

Barbara Broussard of Lafayette Parish pled guilty to theft less than $500 after concealing a household member and his income to receive $3,600 in ineligible SNAP and CCAP benefits. Broussard was sentenced in the Lafayette Parish District Court to six months in the parish jail with credit for time served, 24 months of misdemeanor supervised probation, and ordered to pay $232.50 in court costs and restitution to DCFS in the amount of $3,600.

Myoshi Robinson of Benton illegally obtained $2,747.49 in SNAP benefits after concealing her income. Robinson was sentenced in the 26th Judicial District Court to four years hard labor, which was suspended, placed on one year supervised probation, ordered to pay a $71.00 monthly supervision fee or perform community service, pay a $750 fine, and make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $2,747.49.

Alexis Leigh Blackwell of Alexandria was sentenced in the 9th Judicial District Court after obtaining $2,521 in ineligible SNAP benefits after claiming her children as household members when they did not reside with her. Blackwell was sentenced to two years hard labor, which was suspended, placed on supervised probation on the condition that she pay a fine, court costs and make full restitution in the amount of $2,521 to DCFS.

Margaret Barfield of Shreveport illegally obtained $2,330 in inelligbable SNAP benefits after concealing her employment. Barfield was sentenced in the 1st Judicial District Court to six months parish jail time, which was suspended, placed on one year supervised probation, and ordered to make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $2,330.

Christi Gillespie of Shreveport pled guilty to obtaining $2,202 in ineligible SNAP benefits after concealing her household income. Gillespie was sentenced in the 1st Judicial District Court to six months in the parish jail, which was suspended, placed on two years of supervised probation and ordered to make full restitution to DCFS in the amount of $2,202.

"DCFS does not tolerate those who fraudulently obtain benefits," said DCFS Chief of Staff Tia Embaugh. "We encourage anyone who suspects someone is committing DCFS benefits fraud to report their suspicions immediately by calling our toll free number or by reporting the fraud online."

Individuals are encouraged to report cases of suspected fraud in SNAP, FITAP, CCAP or the Kinship Care Program by calling the DCFS toll-free hot line at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) and selecting option 7 from the main menu or by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/reportfraud.

DCFS uses a number of tools to identify potential fraud of benefits, including cross matching information with federal and other state agencies and its award-winning Geographic Information System technology.

DCFS seeks to recover ineligible benefits from individuals who receive them due to fraud or error by intercepting federal income tax refunds, withholding eligible benefits through recoupment or through administrative or court ordered repayment.

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