Two women arrested in Houma for food stamp fraud

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TERREBONNE PARISH – Two Houma women were arrested on felony counts in connection with a fraudulent scheme involving a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card.

On February 14, detectives received a report from a woman who said she was missing money from her SNAP card (used for the program commonly referred to as “Food Stamps).

Tanya Samanie

The woman, identified as Tanya Samanie of Houma, said her card was supposed to have $195 available for food purchases on it. When she attempted to use the card for purchase of groceries she was declined. After checking her account, she told the deputy, there was only $54 available, and that a purchase had been made for $147 at a store on the 6400 block of West Park Avenue.

Through investigation, the deputy learned that an online purchase was made, and was picked up by a woman in a silver Ford Focus. The deputy viewed surveillance video and observed a woman making the pickup. Samanie said she did not know the vehicle on the video and that she had never authorized anyone to use her card.

Further investigation indicated that the woman making the pickup had entered a PIN number to complete the purchase. The video did not show a tag number for that silver vehicle.

Ashley Sims

A short time later while conducting proactive patrol, the deputy observed a silver Ford Focus at Alma Street and Richard Drive, which appeared disabled. Information developed during an encounter with the vehicle’s driver resulted in information matching facts obtained at the store, in addition to other evidence.

Further investigation revealed that Samanie had sold the card to 35-year-old Ashley Cheramine Sims, of Houma, who was arrested and held without bond for unauthorized use of food stamp coupons, cards or devices.

The deputy then traveled to the 200 block of Final Court, in Houma, where he arrested the complainant, 47-year-old Tanya Jean Samanie, for unauthorized use of food stamp coupons, cards and devices. She also had a warrant for failure to appear at a prior court date and is being held without bond.

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