STOCKTON, CA - On May 24, 2017, a San Joaquin County Jury found a Stockton woman, Cindy Berry guilty of welfare fraud, grand theft and perjury. Over a 4 year period, the 31 year old defendant collected over thirty thousand dollars in CalFresh benefits (food stamps), while failing to claim the father of her children was living with her and providing a separate income. Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel was the prosecutor on the case.
This prosecution reflects ongoing collaborative efforts by the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office and the Human Services Agency to protect welfare program integrity and to eliminate fraud.
"We want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate the theft of welfare and food stamp dollars in San Joaquin County. In a time when the funding sources grow more and more scarce, it is critical we ensure those who are in need of public assistance receive help. When applicants willfully withhold information in regards to the household composition or their income for the purposes of obtaining aid, it is fraud, it is a crime, and they will be prosecuted," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Sherri Adams.
The fraud was discovered by eligibility workers at the County's Human Services Administration and the discrepancies were forwarded to investigators within the District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigations. The trial lasted approximately a week and featured 9 witnesses. Berry returns to court July 24 for sentencing. She faces a maximum sentence of 3 years and 8 months.
To report welfare fraud or if you have questions regarding welfare fraud please call the District Attorney's Investigation Unit at 209-937-7727.