Six People Arrested for SNAP Fraud

Today, the Department of Human Services and Harrison County Sheriff’s Department carried out a sting, rounding up six people from across the county, all accused of SNAP fraud.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed to assist families in need. News 25’s Bryan Kennedy tagged along and has your story.
Some Harrison County residents woke up to a surprise, and unwanted, visit this morning, as sheriff’s deputies and DHS officers arrested 6 people in Harrison County: five accused of SNAP fraud and one charged with frauding the state’s TANF, or Temporary Assistance For Needy Families program.
Investigators tell News 25 some of these arrests stem from the suspects lying on their applications for assistance.
Director of Fraud Investigators Ken Palmer said, “If they put on that application what they should do, and tell at the interview when they ask the questions at the interview, then they wouldn’t receive these benefits to start with.”
Others were arrested because of a past felony drug conviction. Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said, “What we’re going to do is try to work with Ken a little bit stronger to identify the convicted drug dealers. Get them reported to see if they’re receiving any benefits, and if they are, let Ken’s office do their part.”
Over the past fiscal year, the Department of Human Services has made 86 arrests of suspects allegedly committing over $600,000 worth of SNAP fraud.
“And just want to let the taxpayer know, we are looking to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars. That’s what we’re here for. And I encourage anybody that sees fraud or think that it’s fraud, we have a 1-800 number,” said Palmer.
Over the past year, DHS issued nearly $67 million in SNAP benefits in Harrison County, money designated to help struggling families put food on the table.
Law enforcement hopes with stings like this, that money will go into the right hands and to those who really need it.
If convicted, suspects arrested for SNAP fraud face up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for every count of fraud.

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