The individual received nearly $40,000 in SNAP benefits, when household income would make them ineligible. 

A Pearl River County resident surrendered to authorities on September 27, 2022, following a SNAP fraud investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Service (MDHS).

Chrishauna Newton of Pearl River County received $39,354.00 in SNAP benefits by not reporting household income and composition accurately to MDHS. The case has been referred to the Pearl River County District Attorney’s office. The Pearl River County District Attorney secured an indictment on September 20, 2022, and Newton later turned herself into MDHS and Pearl River County officials on September 27, 2022.

“This is a great example of collaboration between our investigations team, county office, and local law enforcement,” stated MDHS Inspector General Sandra Griffith.

The case was investigated by Agent Blake Edwards of the MDHS Investigations Division. The Investigations Division is a subset of the MDHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which was created in August 2018 and charged with detecting, preventing, and deterring fraud, waste, and abuse. OIG has been responsible for millions in dollars collected from SNAP overpayments.

“This investigation demonstrates the strengthened controls we have in place to identify, investigate, and eliminate fraud in our programs,” MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob,” Anderson said.

Suspected fraud can be reported to MDHS online any time by submitting the MDHS Fraud Tip Form at https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/report-fraud/, calling the Fraud Tip Line at 1-(800)-299-6905, or email at [email protected].