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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

January 10, 2012

Weston Resident Enters Plea to Food Stamp Fraud

ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA - A 29 year old Weston, West Virginia, resident entered a plea of guilty on January 10, 2012, in United States District Court in Elkins before Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that: LENA LUNSFORD, entered a plea of guilty to one count of knowingly selling portions of her SNAP benefits valued in an amount in excess of $100.00. On October 15, 2011, LUNSFORD knowingly used any food benefits in a manner contrary to law in that she used and caused to be used an EBT card, also known as Mountain State card, to acquire Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits valued in the amount of $114.82 in exchange for $50 in cash paid to LUNSFORD by another individual.

Ihlenfeld stated, “The United States Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) administers Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, via the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services (WVDHHR) in the Northern District of West Virginia, in order to provide a more nutritious diet to low income families and individuals. Maintaining the integrity of this program is vital to ensuring the availability of SNAP benefits to the most vulnerable members of our society. I remain committed to prosecuting those who abuse the program for their own financial gain to the detriment of the poor who rely on the food it provides.”

LUNSFORD, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn A. Morgan and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

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