Press Release

Wasilla Woman Convicted and Sentenced for Food Stamp Fraud

July 11, 2014

On July 9, 2014, 32-year-old Jazmine Wheaton, currently living in Wasilla, Alaska, was convicted and sentenced for applying for and receiving Food Stamp benefits to which she was not entitled.

The conviction and the sentence stem from a criminal investigation conducted by the State of Alaska, Division of Public Assistance (DPA) Fraud Investigation Unit. The investigation revealed that between April 2008 and September 2009 Ms. Wheaton failed to disclose income for herself and her husband. The amount of their combined unreported monthly income disqualified the family from receiving Food Stamp benefits. In determining eligibility and benefit level for Food Stamp applicants, the Division of Public Assistance is required to consider who lives in the household and available income and resources of all adult household members. Ms. Wheaton fraudulently collected a total of $12,377 in Food Stamp benefits.

Palmer Superior Court Judge Eric Smith sentenced Ms. Wheaton to 18 months incarceration with 15 months suspended. The judge also ordered Ms. Wheaton to serve three months in jail and placed her on felony probation for a period of five years. Judge Smith ordered Ms. Wheaton to pay back the State of Alaska for the benefits. As a condition of her probation, Wheaton must perform 100 hours of community service within the next 12 months. As a result of the conviction, Ms. Wheaton is disqualified from participating in the Food Stamp program for a period of 24 months.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Devoron Hill at (907) 269-0366 or devoron.hill@alaska.gov.

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