Mississippi woman pleads guilty to defrauding thousands in benefits from state

Published 7:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Mississippi woman has pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving thousands in benefits from the State of Mississippi.

Investigators with the Mississippi Department of Human Service announced that Tiffany Shavon Combest, 37, of Jones County pleaded guilty to SNAP fraud before the Jones County Circuit Court on August 24, 2022.

Combest received $30,014.00 in SNAP benefits between August 2015 to October 2020 by not reporting household composition accurately to MDHS.

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Combest was sentenced to serve three (3) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with twelve (12) months to be served on the Intensive Supervision Program (also known as House Arrest), and the remaining time suspended on the condition of the successful completion of two (2) years of Post-Release Supervision and successful completion of the Circuit Court Community Service Program.  Combest is required to pay restitution in the amount of $30,014.00 and will be disqualified from participating in the SNAP program for twelve consecutive months.

This case was investigated by Supervisory Agent Nicholas Stokes and Agent Aaron Rushing of the MDHS Investigations Division. The Investigations Division is a subset of the MDHS Office of 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 recovering millions in dollars from SNAP overpayments.

“This investigation 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.