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Burrillville woman ordered to repay the state over $16,000 in fraudulently obtained public assistance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Burrillville woman was given a five-year deferred sentence and was ordered to repay $16,402 to the State of Rhode Island after she pleaded to charges that she fraudulently obtained Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from 2016 to 2019.

Linda Arndt (age 61) pleaded nolo contendere in Providence County Superior Court today before Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos to one count each of fraudulently obtaining public assistance over $500.

"When people collect benefits they aren't entitled to, they reduce the amount of benefits that are available to those who are eligible and who really need them," said Attorney General Neronha. "That's why this work is important, and that's why we do it."

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between July 1, 2016 and April 30, 2019, Arndt collected over $16,000 in SNAP benefits while not reporting her husband's income to the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. Arndt did not disclose her husband's income on her application for benefits, which would otherwise have made her ineligible for them.

SNAP is a federally funded nutritional support program operated by individual states who determine eligibility. In Rhode Island, the Department of Human Services administers SNAP.

Detective Brendan Doyle of the Rhode Island State Police led the investigation into the case with the help of the Department of Administration. Special Assistant Attorney General Jessica Villella prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.