Three Monroe Grocery Store Workers Plead Guilty To SNAP/WIC Benefits Fraud Conspiracy
MONROE, La. –Three Monroe grocery store workers pleaded guilty this week for their roles in a scheme to exchange SNAP and WIC benefits to customers for cash and ineligible items, U.S.Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today.
Angela Woods, 27, of Monroe, pleaded guilty today to one count of criminal conspiracy before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. James. Willie Mae Woods-Jackson, 42, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy Monday, and Kimberlia Harris, 45, of Monroe, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy Tuesday. In a related matter, Juanita Woods, 36, of Monroe, pleaded guilty on July 24, 2014 to one count of theft of government property. According to evidence presented at the guilty pleas, the defendants conspired to provide customers cash and ineligible items for their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and Women Infant and Children (WIC) program benefits from August 2008 to early 2014 at Dee’s Grocery Store in Monroe where Harris was the owner, Angela Woods was a manager and cashier, Woods-Jackson was a cashier, and Juanita Woods was a cashier. During the time the scheme took place, they acquired approximately $7 million.
Harris, Angela Woods and Woods-Jackson face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count. Juanita Woods faces up to 10 years in prison for theft of government money count. They all face up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date of December 8, 2014 was set for Harris, Angela Woods and Jackson-Woods. Sentencing date for Juanita Woods is November 4, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl M. Campbell is prosecuting the case.