AUBURN — A Livermore woman was indicted Wednesday on nearly a dozen felony counts of welfare fraud.
Tiki L. Thomas, 35, of 735 River Road was charged with one count of Class B theft, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 in an indictment handed up by an Androscoggin County grand jury.
State prosecutors said Thomas stole over a four-year period ending last year from the federal and Maine departments of health and human services more than $10,000 in benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment programs.
Thomas gave the impression that she wasn't getting child support and/or that she was working at Knight's Auto and/or that her children were deprived of their biological father, according to the indictment. Those impressions were false, the indictment said.
She also was indicted on 10 counts of Class B aggravated forgery, each charge punishable by up to 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000. In addition, she was indicted on nine counts of unsworn falsification, Class D misdemeanors, each punishable by up to 364 days in jail.
She is accused of forging notes from Donald Knight of Knight's Auto that said she worked for him part time in 2009, 2010 and 2011 as a bookkeeper and was paid an hourly rate of $8 and $8.50. She also is accused of not disclosing that she was receiving child support over that same period.
The indictment said she created the false impression on a six-month report for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as food stamps) and on several case summaries at DHHS.
Thomas was found guilty of theft by unauthorized taking in 2010 in 8th District Court in Lewiston and fined $100, according to court papers.
Prosecutors at the Maine Attorney General's Office have cracked down recently on suspected welfare fraud.