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Meadville women sentenced for welfare fraud

Submitted Tue, 04/01/2014 - 6:54am by Andy Alm

MEADVILLE – Last month’s list of people convicted of Welfare Fraud includes two women from Meadville.

According to the state Office of Inspector General, 42-year-old Mary E. Baker, of Meadville, was ordered incarcerated at the Crawford County Correctional Facility by Judge Mark Stevens after pleading guilty to felony welfare fraud charges.

Baker illegally received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in excess of $3,100.

Stevens sentenced Baker to 30 days to 12 months, less one day incarceration.  In addition, Baker was given 12 months probation and ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fines.

Baker is also required to perform 25 hours of community service per week for every week she is not gainfully employed for at least 20 hours.

And she was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

Also sentenced last month was 58-year-old Lacetta B. Higgs, of Meadville.

Higgs also pleaded guilty to illegally receiving more than 17-hundred dollars of cash assistance and food stamp benefits.  She was sentenced to 60 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution costs, fees, and fines.  She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a year.

Some 21 people statewide were sentenced for similar crimes in March.