AUBURN — A Lewiston woman who claimed her daughter was living with her so she could collect welfare was sentenced Friday to spend three months in jail.

Prosecutors said Jessica Jordan, 36, of 75 Summer St. lied on state documents to indicate her now-16-year-old daughter had lived with her from August 2013 to February 2014, making Jordan eligible to collect benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program and the MaineCare program, totaling more than $10,000.

During that time, her daughter had been living with her father at his Lewiston home.

He and the couple’s daughter would have testified had the case gone to trial, Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell said Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

Anonymous complainants tipped off state officials about Jordan’s activities, Mitchell said.

Jordan pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft by deception, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. She was sentenced to two years in prison, with all but three months of that time suspended, according to the terms of a plea agreement between Jordan and prosecutors.

She also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unsworn falsification by indicating on state documents that her daughter had been living with her when she hadn’t been. For that charge, Jordan was sentenced to three months in jail, which she’ll serve at the same time as the first sentence.

Four additional misdemeanor counts of unsworn falsification against Jordan were dismissed by prosecutors. 

Jordan was ordered to repay the Maine Department of Health and Human Services $11,770.24 in restitution.

Her sentence was stayed until Monday.

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