Food Stamp Violations

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2010

Batesville women booted from food stamp program

By Billy Davis

Two Batesville residents have been convicted of cheating a federal food program.

Teresa K. Collins, 229 West Street, and Ann M. Robinson, 226 Gordon Drive, were barred from future participation after committing their third violations, according to the Miss. Department of Human Services.

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Federal and state laws require both women to be dropped after a third violation, said MDHS spokesman Julia Bryan.

The food program, SNAP, is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program more commonly known as the food stamp program.

More than 25 million low-income families and individuals participate in SNAP, which is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture. SNAP is overseen at the state level by the Department of Human Services, which also investigates fraud.

Both Collins and Robinson were arrested and charged with SNAP fraud for failing to accurately report their income, said Bryan.

Collins was ordered by Panola Justice Court Judge Willie Joiner to pay $1,325 in restitution, when she appeared in justice court February 23.  

Robinson, when she appeared before Joiner, was ordered to pay $4,227 in restitution.

The Office of Fraud Investigation recovered $1.4 million from violators in 2009, said director Ken Palmer. The office handled 1,632 suspected violations.

“Investigators are closely monitoring applications for public assistance to ensure taxpayer dollars are not being abused or misused,” Palmer said.

In addition to Batesville, the Office of Fraud Investigation reported convictions in Carthage, Olive Branch and Petal.