Mississippi woman arrested for defrauding state $26,000 in food assistance

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A Marion County resident has been arrested for SNAP fraud following an investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).

Investigators found that Shayla Cartier received an over-issuance of SNAP benefits in the amount of $26,161.00 due to Cartier fraudulently receiving benefits for failure to report income and household composition accurately.

Due to the substantial amount of overpayment and the evidence of alleged fraud found during the investigation, the case was turned over to Marion County District Attorney to be presented to the Grand Jury for criminal prosecution. The Marion County District Attorney secured an indictment on November 9, 2021, and Cartier turned herself into MDHS Investigators in Marion County on November 15, 2021.

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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 (OIG), which was created in August 2018 and charged with detecting, preventing, and deterring fraud, waste, and abuse. OIG has been responsible for millions in dollars collected from SNAP overpayments.

“This investigation and ultimate prosecution demonstrates 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.”

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.