Moss Point woman to pay thousands for food stamp fraud


JACKSON COUNTY -- A Moss Point woman has been sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $14,511 in restitution for filing false claims to obtain thousands of dollars in state and federal funding she was not entitled to.

A Jackson County grand jury indicted Crystal Owens on a charge of food stamp fraud.

She has since admitted to filing the fraudulent claims with the State Department of Human Services to obtain $14,511 she was not entitled to between March 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013.

According to the indictment, Owens, 34, filed various paperwork with DHS claiming to have five minor children as dependents when she did not.

In her plea, Owens admitted filing the paperwork to receive the benefits even though her five children lived with their father, who had custody of the children.

Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced Owens to non-adjudicated probation, meaning her record will be wiped clean upon completion of her sentence and the restitution is paid. In addition, the judge ordered Owens to pay a $1,000 fine and $100 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

As part of the probation, Owens will have to submit to drug and alcohol tests, remain in the state, and get a job, among other things.