Clinton Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced For Stealing $47,000 in Welfare Benefits

September 27, 2012

AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that Theresa M. Rice-Goodrich, 32, of Clinton, plead guilty in Kennebec County Superior Court on September 25, 2012 to one count of Theft by Deception and one count of Unsworn Falsification. She was sentenced to three years of incarceration, all but nine months and one day suspended, two years of probation, and ordered to pay $46,394 in restitution for the Class C theft. The sentence for the unsworn falsification charge was nine months and one day, to be served concurrently.

Rice-Goodrich told the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that her three children were living with her in order to qualify for benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from January 2006 through August 2011.

The DHHS investigation revealed that the children were not living with her, except for a three month period in early 2010, and were actually living with her grandparents.

“Misrepresenting the facts to qualify for welfare benefits ultimately deprives the children who need these programs the most,” said Attorney General Schneider. “We will continue to partner with DHHS to ensure that recipients who steal from these programs are held accountable.”

This case was investigated by the Maine DHHS Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit. Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider’s Criminal Division.