Police: Springdale Woman Defrauded SNAP For $13,000

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Springdale woman is accused of stealing $13,000 in food stamps after she failed to disclose that her husband was employed for almost two years while her family received benefits, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Johanna Laguna, 30, was arrested Thursday in connection with theft of public benefits, a Class B felony when the stolen benefits total more than $2,500, according to Arkansas Code Annotated 5-36-202.

Laguna reapplied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program twice between 2013 and 2015, both times listing a household of herself, her husband and five children. Laguna didn’t drop her husband from the household until January 2016, nearly two years after he found employment, according to the affidavit.

A fraud investigator discovered Laguna’s husband was employed and living in the household between August 2014 and March 2016, meaning Laguna received $13,295 worth of benefits she wasn’t entitled to, according to the affidavit.

Laguna was released Thursday from the Washington County Detention Center after posting a $2,500 bond. She has hearing set for Aug. 23 in Washington County Circuit Court.

Class B felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000 under state law.

SNAP is a federal program that offers nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. SNAP, which is administered by the states, is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net, according to agency.

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