Carson City couple plead guilty to food stamp fraud

A Carson City couple pleaded guilty to defrauding the state out of $9,412 in food stamp benefits from May 2009 until October 2011.

The district attorney’s office alleged Victor Canedo and his wife, Martha Pinzon, were able to collect more benefits than they would be entitled to through misreporting their combined incomes. Pinzon and Canedo each pleaded guilty to a single count of fraudulently obtaining public assistance of $100 or more.

According to court documents, Pinzon claimed she was unemployed when the couple applied for food stamps. She had been working as a janitor in Reno since 2005 and did not report her job on five subsequent reapplications.

The couple’s reported income varied between nothing and $873 per month.

Their actual total income, according to court documents, varied between $915 and $1,772. The amounts over-issued ranged from $159 and $526.

The couple have three children together.

Each faces up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Sentencing is set for June 11.

The benefits are loaded onto a card and can be used to purchase food, without restrictions on type, said Miki Allard, staff specialist for the Department of Welfare and Social Services.

Program benefits are paid for entirely by federal funding, and half the administration costs are paid for by federal money.


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