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Vivian Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced in Food Stamp and Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program Fraud Case

A 33-year-old Vivian woman recently was sentenced after pleading guilty on November 16, 2009, to charges of illegally obtaining $5,135.00 in Food Stamp Program benefits and $1,040.00 in Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) benefits.

Ladeanne Williams was sentenced in the 1st Judicial District Court to serve two years at hard labor, which was suspended. In addition, Williams will serve five years of supervised probation, make full restitution to the Department of Children & Family Services, and pay court costs or serve 30 days in the parish jail.

"DSS remains vigilant and committed to monitoring and investigating all cases of suspected fraud and abuse within our public assistance roles, and we will prosecute individuals to the fullest extent of the law and seek restitution for lost funds," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols.

An investigation into Williams's case was begun after an anonymous caller reported to DSS' Shreveport Office of Family Support that Williams was receiving public assistance for her five children who did not reside in her home.

DSS determined that Williams was ineligible for the Food Stamps she received from September 1999 through February 2002 and April through July 2002, as well as the FITAP benefits she received from September through November 1999 and January 2000 through April 2001 because her children were not living with her at the time.

DSS' Fraud and Recovery Section worked with Assistant District Attorney Aaron Crawford, who prosecuted the case for District Attorney Charles Rex Scott's office.

Nichols said that all OFS benefit recipients should report any changes in their circumstances in a timely manner.

Individuals are encouraged to report cases of suspected fraud in the Food Stamp Program, Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program, the Child Care Assistance Program, or the Kinship Care Program by calling the DSS toll-free hotline at 1-800-256-3150 or by visiting the website at
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