13 months for food-stamp scam
A 45-year-old Ma'ili woman yesterday was sentenced to 13 months in a federal prison after she pleaded guilty to food-stamp fraud.
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor also ordered Thelma Lave to serve three years of supervised release, which is similar to the state's probation. Lave also must pay $198,000 in restitution.
Last May, Lave pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving $36,000 in food-stamp benefits over nine years. Lave admitted that she told the state Department of Human Services that her husband did not live with her family and was not providing financial support to her and their three children while she was receiving the benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Lave also pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving cash and medical benefits as well as public-housing benefits from the state. In all, Lave defrauded the state and federal governments of $198,000, authorities said.
U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo said he was satisfied with the sentence.
"Programs that provide financial assistance to the truly needy in our state cannot survive if offenders such as Ms. Lave are not punished when they flagrantly abuse the trust upon which these programs operate," Kubo said.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Shipley and was investigated by the FBI and Department of Human Services.