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Press Release

Dunklin County Woman Charged in Federal Indictment Alleging Mail Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

Cape Girardeau, MO – PAMELA O'DELL was indicted on charges alleging mail fraud involving the misuse of approximately $52,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

According to the indictment, O’Dell was employed as an Eligibility Specialist (ES) by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division (FSD) in Dunklin County, Missouri. In this position, O’Dell was responsible for processing applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. She was also responsible for updating SNAP recipients' files with address changes and if their eligibility for the program was terminated. The indictment alleges that between 2009 and 2014, when SNAP applicants and recipients reported to the FSD that they no longer wished to apply for or receive benefits, O’Dell changed their address to the FSD office in Dunklin, which issued a new Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT), using her information. She converted the EBT cards to her personal use to purchase items from stores such as Wal-Mart and Hay’s Grocery in Paragould, Arkansas.

O’Dell, Senath, MO, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Cape Girardeau on one felony count of mail fraud.

If convicted, mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Division of Legal Services and the United States Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General-Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony L. Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated January 5, 2016