Woman accused of scamming $28K in food stamp benefits

Anabell DeAlba failed to report income, officials say.

Woman accused of scamming $28k in food stamp benefits

READING, Pa. - A Reading woman is facing charges after officials say she fraudulently took nearly $28,000 in benefits from Berks County.

Thirty-year-old Anabell DeAlba of the 700 block of Lance Place is accused of failing to report income she earned as a hairdresser and babysitter from March 2010 through December 2012.

"From our experience, the amount of the loss in this case is substantial," said District Attorney John Adams.

Officials said DeAlba took nearly $14,000 in cash and more than $14,000 in food stamps over the 34-month period.

On Wednesday, 69 News tracked down DeAlba's boyfriend, Jarrod Thomas, who said DeAlba didn't intend to cheat the system.

"I don't think she honestly meant to take advantage," said Thomas. "I don't think she honestly knew what she was doing."

It's an excuse Adams said he's heard before, and isn't buying.

"Individuals who receive welfare are under a continuing duty to report income... that is explained to every recipient," he said.

She was charged Tuesday with fraud-obtaining food stamps/assistance. She posted $5,000 bail.

Adams said if convicted, DeAlba would be forced to pay full restitution and potentially face jail time.

Her preliminary hearing is set for March 14.

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