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Woman Surrenders After Allegedly Defrauding SNAP Program Of $70,000

Mississippi woman Katrina Harris is alleged to have incorrectly reported her income and home composition to the government for SNAP assistance.

A Mississippi woman recently turned herself in for allegedly intentionally defrauding a low-income federal food assistance program. Following a SNAP fraud investigation by the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Investigations Division, Katrina Harris, a Pike County woman, gave herself up to authorities.  

SNAP is the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which aims to reduce poverty and food insecurity for low-income families by assisting them with their grocery budgets to allow them to continue to grow economically. The website’s description reads, “SNAP provides food benefits to low-income families to supplement their grocery budget so they can afford the nutritious food essential to health and well-being.” 

According to the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Harris received $69,881.00 in SNAP benefits. She was able to do so by not accurately reporting her true household income or her actual family composition to the state when asked. Harris’ case was handed over to the Pike County District Attorney’s office after authorities found evidence hinting that fraud was taking place. The suspected fraud case was taken on by the district attorney, who was soon after granted an indictment for Harris on March 5, WLBT reports. The MDHS Investigations Division’s agent, Aaron Rushing, headed the investigations. 

Harris turned herself in to MDHS, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and Pike County law enforcement just three weeks after the March 26 indictment.

MDHS Inspector General Sandra Griffith called the case an excellent display of teamwork from the county’s law enforcement and resource teams. Griffith said, “This is a great example of collaboration between our investigations team, county offices, district attorneys, and local law enforcement.”

Another official, MOHS Executive Director Bob Anderson, added, “This investigation demonstrates the strengthened controls we have in place to identify, investigate, and eliminate fraud in our programs.”

Fraud relating to SNAP falls under MDHS jurisdiction, particularly their branch that is “tasked with detecting, deterring and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.”

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