Woman charged with SNAP fraud

A DeSoto County resident has been arrested for SNAP fraud following an investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).

Investigators found that Candice Ballard received an over issuance of SNAP benefits in the amount of $30,072.00 due to Ballard fraudulently receiving benefits by failing to report income and household composition accurately.

Due to the substantial amount of overpayment and the evidence of alleged fraud found during the investigation, the case was turned over to DeSoto County District Attorney to be presented to the Grand Jury for criminal prosecution. The District Attorney secured an indictment on December 8, 2021, which was later executed on December 15, 2021, by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was investigated by Brett Estes and Sean Hildenbrand of the MDHS Investigations Division.

The Investigations Division is a subset of the MDHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which was created in August 2018 and charged with detecting, preventing, and deterring fraud, waste, and abuse within the agency. OIG has been responsible for recovering millions of dollars in SNAP overpayments.

“This investigation and ultimate prosecution demonstrates the controls we have in place to identify, investigate, and eliminate fraud in our programs,” MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson said. “This is also a great example of cooperation between our county office, investigations team, and local law enforcement.”

Suspected fraud can be reported to MDHS online any time by submitting the MDHS Fraud Tip Form at https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/report-fraud/, calling the Fraud Tip Line at 1-(800)-299-6905, or email at fraud@mdhs.ms.gov.

News Release

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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