Mississippi woman indicted for receiving nearly $70,000 in food benefits she shouldn’t have

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

A Mississippi woman was indicted for illegally receiving nearly $70,000 in SNAP benefits.

Katrina Harris of Pike County surrendered to authorities on March 26, 2024, following a SNAP fraud investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Service (MDHS).

MDHS announced that Harris received $69,881.00 in SNAP benefits by not reporting household income and composition accurately to MDHS. Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation, the case was referred to the Pike County District Attorney’s office. The Pike County District Attorney secured an indictment on March 5, 2024, and Harris later turned herself into MDHS and Pike County officials on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

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“This is a great example of collaboration between our investigations team, County offices, District Attorney’s, and local law enforcement,” stated MDHS Inspector General Sandra Griffith.

Agent Aaron Rushing of the MDHS Investigations Division investigated the case. 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, deterring and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse. OIG has been responsible for millions of dollars collected from overpayments.

“This investigation demonstrates the strengthened controls we have in place to identify, investigate, and eliminate fraud in our programs,” MOHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson said.

An indictment is only an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Suspected fraud can be reported to MDHS online at any time by submitting the MOHS 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.