Mississippi woman accused of defrauding state of $34,000 in SNAP food benefits

Published 5:57 am Thursday, August 26, 2021

A Mississippi woman is accused of fraudulently getting more than $34,000 in SNAP for multiple children that no longer live in her household.

Tiffany Combes, of  Jones County woman has been accused of defrauding the government food assistance program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That’s according to the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Service.

Investigators say that Combest received an over-issuance of SNAP benefits in the amount of $34,014.00 by receiving benefits for multiple children that were no longer in her household.

“This investigation and ultimate prosecution demonstrate the controls we have in place to identify, investigate and eliminate fraud in our programs,” MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob,” Anderson said. “This is also a great example of cooperation between our county office, investigations team and local law enforcement.”

Due to the substantial amount of overpayment and the evidence of alleged fraud found during the investigation, the case was turned over to Jones County District Attorney Anthony Buckley to be presented to the Grand Jury for criminal prosecution.

Buckley secured an indictment on June 24, and MDHS served her with the indictment on Aug. 25 after she was arrested by the Laurel Police Department on other unrelated charges.

The case was investigated by Ryan Stokes of the MDHS Investigations Division.

The Investigations Division is a subset of the MDHS Office of the Inspector General created in August 2018 and charged with detecting, preventing and deterring fraud, waste and abuse within the agency. OIG has been responsible for recovering millions of dollars from SNAP overpayments.

Suspected fraud can be reported to MDHS online any time by submitting the MDHS Fraud Tip Form at https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/report-fraud/, calling the Fraud Tip Line at 1-(800)-299-6905, or email at fraud@mdhs.ms.gov.