Savannah woman pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A Savannah woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million in federal funds in a scheme that netted more than $6 million in food stamps and nutrition-assistance benefits.

 

Litricia Allen, 37, admitted to U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. to theft of federal funds in the scheme.

The scheme occurred between February 2009 and June 2011 in Savannah, Augusta, Atlanta and other Georgia cities.

Her mother and a friend also entered guilty pleas to charges in the scheme that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Durham said occurred at 13 “stores” in Georgia.

Also pleading guilty Wednesday were Jewell Allen, 57, of Atlanta, and Petrina Barge, 41, of Decatur. Both pleaded to the conspiracy charge, but waived prosecution by indictment and acted under an information filed by the government.

Litricia Allen and six Atlanta-area residents were charged in April in the scheme to use 13 storefront operations in various Georgia cities to illegally traffic in the benefits in exchange for cash or as payments for non-authorized items.

The participants converted Supplemental Assistance Program, formerly know as the Food Stamp Program and Georgia women, Infant and Children (WIC) program funds to cash, the government charged.

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