U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that a woman, originally of West Virginia, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud. Authorities said that Cynthia Gibson, 40 years of age, admitted that she participated with other known individuals in a scheme to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. These benefits are given to eligible individuals in the form of a debit card.
Federal authorities said that Gibson was a clerk at a convenience store where she conspired with other known individuals in an illegal card-swiping scheme.
Gibson admitted to fraudulently swiping certain recipients’ debit cards by charging a certain dollar amount against the value of the recipient’s card. Gibson admitted that the card recipients were given 50 to 65 cents on the dollar in cash. The bank account then received the full amount of the fraudulent transactions from the government. Gibson admitted that as a result of the scheme, she redeemed a portion of approximately $127,000 in SNAP benefits.
Gibson faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on October 15, 2012, by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.