Mississippi woman pleads guilty to defrauding state of nearly $31,000 in food benefits

Published 11:41 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Mississippi woman has been arrested and later pleaded guilty to SNAP fraud following an investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Service.

Sabrina Catchings, 28, of Madison County pleaded guilty to welfare fraud before the Madison County circuit court on Jan. 14, 2022. Catchings was sentenced to serve three (3) years in the custody of MDOC, three (3) years suspended, and five (5) years supervised probation under the direct supervision of MDOC, permanently disqualified for any participating in the Food Stamp/AFDC program, as well as full restitution in the amount of $30, 954.00.

Catchings received $30, 954.00 in SNAP benefits between May 2017 to March 2021 by not reporting household composition and income accurately

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The case was investigated by DHS Investigator Nicholas “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.