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Food stamp fraud nets sentences

Two women involved in food stamp fraud were sentenced earlier this month in Douglas County Circuit Court. Nicole Marie Stouffer, 36, of Superior pleaded no contest Sept. 9 to party to misstate facts in a food stamp application. She was sentenced ...

Two women involved in food stamp fraud were sentenced earlier this month in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Nicole Marie Stouffer, 36, of Superior pleaded no contest Sept. 9 to party to misstate facts in a food stamp application. She was sentenced to three years of probation, 159 days in jail and ordered to attend counseling as deemed appropriate, provide a DNA sample and pay $443 court costs. A 15-month prison sentence, followed by two years of extended supervision, was imposed and stayed. One count of knowingly traffic food stamps was dismissed.

Stouffer's mother, Judith Faye Tuura, 57, of Iron River, pleaded no contest Sept. 6 to misstating facts in a food stamp application. She was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $518 court costs and get counseling as deemed appropriate.

A third person involved in the fraud, Edward David St. John, 69, of Superior pleaded no contest in July to party to knowingly traffic food stamps. His case is set for sentencing in December.

According to the criminal complaints:

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Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Richard Schnell discovered the fraud while monitoring inmate phone calls from the Douglas County Jail in October. Stouffer, who was incarcerated at the time, complained in a phone call to her mother that St. John had her EBT card and that he kept using it but not paying her (by bringing her soda and cigarettes).

St. John told Schnell that he used the card to buy items for himself and bought Stouffer cigarettes in exchange for using the card. It is estimated that about $1,374 worth of purchases were made on the card while it was in St. John's possession.

During another jail phone call, Stouffer asked Tuura to file a renewal application with the FoodShare program and sign it in Stouffer's name At the time the application was signed electronically, Stouffer was in lockdown status at the jail with no access to a computer. A number of entries on the renewal form, including Stouffer's address and phone number, were false.

Related Topics: CRIMEDOUGLAS COUNTY
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