Over the course of five years, a Lima woman illegally collected more than $22,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments. She was sentenced Monday to five years of probation.
Linda Mayberry, 47, entered a plea of guilty in March 2022 to an amended fourth-degree felony charge of attempting to utilize SNAP benefits,
commonly known as food stamps, between February 2013 and July 2018. She was sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of $1,500.
She had been indicted by a grand jury in September of 2021 on a third-degree felony charge of illegally using SNAP benefits, which was a third-degree crime at the time.
As a result, Mayberry was sentenced to a year of probation by Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed, which he described as the “longest possible term of probation available to him.”
In addition, Mayberry was ordered to pay restitution to the Allen County Department of Jobs & Family Services, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In the opinion of the prosecutor, the woman neglected to notify program authorities that another person was residing in her home, which would have resulted in a change in her eligibility for benefits.
When asked to give a statement during her sentencing hearing in Allen County Common Pleas Court, Mayberry declined, although she did so in response to questions provided by Reed.
“How is restitution going to be paid? “Does it appear that it will ever be repaid?” the judge inquired.
\Mayberry stated that she would make payments “every month from my disability cheque,” according to the report.
In response to Mayberry’s skepticism, Reed informed her that an 18-month prison sentence would be imposed on her if she failed to comply with the terms of his sentence.
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“You have to follow the rules in order to succeed. It is necessary to hold those who violate the regulations responsibly, according to the court’s ruling.
“In this case, the taxpayers are the victims. We don’t put money into initiatives like these so that others may take advantage of them.”
In his capacity as executive director of the county’s Jobs and Family Services department, Joe Patton stated that the number of benefits taken from the program was among the highest in recent history.
He applauded the agency’s acceptance of grant funds from the state of Ohio to improve the fraud detection section, which he said will be critical in apprehending Mayberry and others who are abusing the financial system.