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Former DFCS Employees Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Over $500,000 in Food Stamps

PRESS ADVISORY

Former DFCS Employees Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Over $500,000 in Food Stamps

September 8, 2011

Former Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) employees Gene Tell of East Point, 36, and Kristy Nicole Williams of Decatur, 28, were sentenced today in federal district court before Judge Thomas Thrash on one count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and two counts of Wire Fraud relating to a scheme to defraud the United States Department of Agriculture by issuing fraudulent food stamp electronic benefit transaction ("EBT") cards.

Evidence in the case showed that between November 2009 and March 2010, Tell and Williams used their positions as Financial Independence Case Managers in the Dekalb County DFCS office to fraudulently create new food stamp accounts, or to cause food stamp accounts to be reactivated for persons who were not eligible. As a result, 270 EBT cards containing food stamps benefits in excess of $750,000.00 were issued by Tell and Williams. Investigation determined that over $576,000.00 in food stamp benefits were accessed by the recipients of the cards before the scheme was discovered.

In determining the defendant's sentences, Judge Thrash applied the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Tell received a sentence of two years and nine months, followed by a three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $ 576,570.79. Williams received a sentence of one year and nine months, followed by three years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $73,008.04.

This case was jointly investigated by Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Wesley Horne, United States Postal Service Inspector Eric George, Georgia Department of Human Services Inspectors Randy Howard, Jr. and Sue Keenan, and United States Department of Agriculture Special Agent Fred McCree.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Kimberly L. Schwartz and Assistant United States Attorney Bernita B. Malloy prosecuted the case on behalf of the Government.