City woman accused of welfare fraud

A 35-year-old Seymour woman faces a felony charge of welfare fraud as the result of a nearly monthlong investigation, a state investigator reported.

The Level 6 felony charge against Myriam Jahaira Leon Cotto comes after an investigation by an employee with the Indiana Department of Family and Social Services Administration Compliance Division was able to determine she failed to submit all of her household income when she applied for food stamps, according to the probable cause affidavit filed Nov. 2 in Jackson Circuit Court.

Court records show Cotto applied for and received $6,225 in food stamps between December 2015 and October of this year. At the time, she reported she did not have any income and no one living with her had income.

The investigation, however, showed that there was man living in Cotto’s household, and he had a job and was benefiting from the food stamps she received, according to court records.

A welfare fraud conviction is punishable by six months to 2½ years in jail.