Miami County woman ordered to repay $60K in food stamp, Medicaid fraud case

TROY – A West Milton woman convicted of stealing more than $60,000 in food stamps and Medicaid benefits told a Miami County judge Monday, July 17, she was wrong, adding it was hard “trying to survive.”

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Theresa Harris, 57, was sentenced to a mandatory community control sentence of five years and ordered to make monthly payments toward restitution of $60,825 stolen between June 2008 and August 2016.

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County prosecutors said she was accused of stealing around $34,000 in food stamp benefits and $26,000 in Medicaid benefits.

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Harris told Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee that she failed to post her husband’s income when seeking food stamps and Medicaid benefits.

She was indicted earlier this year for felony illegal use of food stamps and Medicaid fraud and pleaded no contest in May. She was found guilty.

“I understand now what I did was wrong,” Harris said, adding she was trying to care for four children. “It is just hard with four grandkids and trying to survive.”

Gee said Harris had no prior criminal record and qualified for mandatory community control under state law. She was ordered to complete five years of community control, pay court costs and monthly payments toward restitution.

Harris also has signed a public benefits disqualification agreement, public defender Steve Layman said.

The judge said if Harris violates conditions of the community control, she could face up to 17 months in prison.

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