AUBURN, Maine — A Livermore woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to 11 felony counts of welfare fraud totaling more than $10,000.
Tiki L. Thomas, 35, of 735 River Road appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court where she answered, “not guilty” each time as a judge read a total of 20 charges from a Sept. 5 grand jury indictment.
She 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.
State prosecutors said she stole 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. The thefts occurred over four years ending last year.
Thomas suggested 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 an Androscoggin County grand jury indictment. That was 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.
Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy said Thursday that Thomas could continue to be free on personal recognizance.
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