Franklinton woman among 12 convicted in DCFS fraud cases
Published 5:57 pm Friday, April 19, 2013
BATON ROUGE – Investigations by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services’ Fraud and Recovery Unit has led to the conviction and sentencing of 12 Louisiana residents who received more than $120,000 in ineligible benefits.
Included in that number is Wendy Gregorio of Franklinton, who pled guilty to illegally obtaining $17,364 in ineligible SNAP benefits after concealing her husband as a household member. Gregorio was sentenced in the 22nd Judicial District Court to five years probation, ordered to pay court costs and a $750 fine, perform community service and make full restitution in the amount of $17,364 to DCFS.
“These cases should serve as a warning to anyone fraudulently claiming public assistance benefits,” said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. “Anyone suspected of committing fraud will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to Sonnier, 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.
The DCFS Fraud and Recovery Unit has recovered nearly $1.3 million from ineligible DCFS program recipients since July 2012.
Individuals are encouraged to report cases of suspected SNAP, CCAP, Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) or the Kinship Care Program (KCSP) fraud by calling the DCFS toll-free hotline at 1-888-LAHELP-U and selecting option 7 from the main menu or by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/ReportFraud.