Police: Area resident already under investigation arrested for perjury, fraud, theft

A Seymour woman already facing perjury, welfare fraud and theft charges from an investigation in 2016 was arrested Sunday on similar charges involving three new investigations, police report.

The newest charges against Teresa L. Cantu, 51, stem from an investigation that began in August when the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department received information she had failed to report all sources of income and property when applying for public assistance for a utility bill.

That information, which came from the Redding Township trustee’s office, led to Cantu’s arrest Sunday on a Level 6 felony charge of perjury and a Class A misdemeanor charge of welfare fraud, according to a news release from county Reserve Officer Scott Davis.

Cantu also was arrested for insurance fraud, a Level 5 felony, and theft, a Level 6 felony, from a second investigation, Davis said.

He said that investigation showed Cantu had received a settlement check from an insurance company from a crash she had been involved in, but she had submitted false information to the insurance company from her former place of employment, an attorney’s office in Seymour.

Cantu also was arrested Sunday on a charge of fraud on a financial institution, a Level 5 felony, from an investigation involving her application to have her house in Seymour refinanced through a mortgage company, Davis said.

He said she submitted false income information from the same former employer’s office that was used to receive the refinancing on her home.

In August, Cantu was arrested on Level 6 felony charges of welfare fraud, theft and perjury after an investigation that began in January 2017 by Special Agency Brett M. Yonkus with the Social Security Administration.

According to the probable cause affidavit, those charges stem from an investigation that began when Yonkus received information about an investigation conducted by Davis, who also is an investigator with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

Davis had arrested Cantu in August 2016 on Level 6 felony charges of welfare fraud and perjury.

Cantu entered a plea agreement in that case Monday in Jackson Circuit Court, and the sentencing hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28. That agreement calls for her to plead guilty to the perjury charge.

That investigation began when Davis received information that showed Cantu had failed to report all of the income she had been receiving while working for a Seymour attorney to the Jackson County Division of Family Resources.

Cantu had received food stamps and Medicaid from January 2015 to March 2016 while living in Seymour, according to court records.

Davis reported Cantu also has sold two vehicles to auto dealerships for a total of $18,500 and failed to report those resources when she applied for public assistance on at least three occasions.

As part of the investigation, Davis said he was told Cantu received $200 a week in child support from her ex-husband, and that income was not reported when she applied for public assistance.

Overall, the investigation showed Cantu received $6,526.47 in public assistance.

The new charges stem from an investigation that shows Cantu and her two children were overpaid about $18,195 in Social Security benefits because she under-reported her income in December 2013, February 2014, June to December 2015 and into January 2016.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.