DNR Money Stock

A Harrisonburg woman accused of fraudulently receiving thousands of dollars in welfare benefits pleaded guilty Monday in Rockingham County Circuit Court.

Mariah Ann-Marie Denham, 29, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of welfare fraud and one felony count of filing a false application with the Virginia Department of Social Services and three felony counts of welfare fraud.

As part of a plea deal, Judge Bruce Albertson sentenced Denham to an eight-year suspended sentence.

He ordered that she pay $6,830 in restitution.

Denham was arrested Oct. 24.

Prosecutors say Denham failed to report that her boyfriend lived with her from 2017 through 2020, during which time she filed for welfare.

The boyfriend’s wages, prosecutors say, would have made her ineligible to receive benefits.

As a result of the fraud, prosecutors say, Denham received roughly $6,900 from the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes SNAP funds available to states to help households meeting certain income criteria purchase food.

As part of the taxpayer-funded program, the state deposits money into a recipient’s SNAP account, which can be used at participating stores with a state-issued debit card. The card can be used to purchase unprepared food and nonalcoholic beverages.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6267 or pdelea@dnronline.com. Follow Pete on Twitter @pdelea_DNR

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.