Mississippi woman arrested for more than $30,000 in food benefits fraud

Published 6:52 am Monday, January 10, 2022

A Mississippi woman 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 Candice Ballard received an over issuance of SNAP benefits in the amount of $30,072.00 due to Ballard fraudulently receiving benefits by her failing 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 Desoto County District Attorney to be presented to the Grand Jury for criminal prosecution. The Desoto County District Attorney secured an indictment on December 8, 2021, which was later executed on December 15, 2021, by the Desoto County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was investigated by Brett Estes and Sean Hildenbrand 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 within the agency. OIG has been responsible for recovering millions of dollars in 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.”