Two Arrested for Food Stamp Fraud

Patrol deputies deductive work leads to the arrest of two women defrauding the food stamp program.


After a Houma woman complained of missing funds on her SNAP card, Feb. 14, a Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy, gathered the relevant data, then conducted a proactive patrol which led to the arrest of both the complainant and the card user.


SNAP card purchases are commonly referred to as “food stamp” purchases.


A report was received Friday, Feb. 14, from a woman who said she was missing money from her SNAP card. The woman, identified as Tanya Samanie of Houma, said her card was supposed to have $195 available for food purchases on it.


After her purchase was declined, Tanya Samanie, of Houma, reported money missing from her SNAP card. According to her, the card was supposed to have $195 available for food purchases, but only had $54. She told the deputies that a purchase had been made for $147 a store on the 6400 block of West Park Avenue.


At the store the deputies learned that records showed an online purchase that matched a store pickup made by a woman in a silver Ford Focus.


The deputies viewed surveillance video and observed a woman making the pickup. The complainant 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.


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 the complainant in the case had given the card to Ashley Cheramine Sims, 35, of Houma, who was arrested and transported to the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex, where she was booked and held without bond for unauthorized use of food stamp coupons, cards or devices.


The deputies then traveled to the 200 block of Final Court, in Houma, where they arrested the complainant, Tanya Jean Samanie, 47, who was transported to the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex and booked 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.