July 4, 2013

3 convicted of $8 million federal assistance fraud

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Three people have been convicted in federal court of stealing about $8 million in food stamps and other government benefits.

U.S. Attorney’s officials said Wednesday that 41-year-old Rashella Reed, of Riverdale, 41-year-old Derrick Robinson, of Riverdale, and 21-year-old Tory Hardwick, of Chattanooga were found guilty after a four-day jury trial.

The three were accused of stealing money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infant and Children program. Officials say the three owned a business in suburban Atlanta that was used as a front to pay benefit recipients to give their vouchers away.

Officials say the three were part of a group of 16 people who have been charged in a larger government benefit scheme. Authorities say the other 13 defendants have already pleaded guilty.