Northwest High School Principal Arrested for SNAP Benefits Fraud in Opelousas, Louisiana
OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) - After getting a tip from a local nursing home, St. Landry Parish detectives discovered a local educator was attempting to defraud Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for SNAP benefits.
“On July 10, 2023 the Activities Director (an employee of a local nursing home), contacted the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding a fraudulent letter that was sent to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) by LaShondra Taylor, attempting to reinstate SNAP benefits for her mother who is a nursing home resident at the facility," Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz said in a statement. "The resident has been in the nursing home since June 2021.”
Taylor, 42, of Opelousas, is an administrator at Northwest High School, but St. Landry Parish School Board officials told KATC News that she is still employed, pending an investigation.
According to the sheriff's release, the letter Taylor sent to DCFS was on nursing home letterhead. That prompted a deeper investigation.
When questioned by a DCFS representative, the employee whose name appeared on the letter, denied sending correspondence to DCFS concerning any of the nursing home patients. And she did not request or instruct LaShondra Taylor to submit documents on behalf of the nursing home or any specific resident.When the DCFS representative was questioned, it was learned that she received a call from LaShondra Taylor, requesting a status on the SNAP benefit case, in which she stated she is the authorized representative of the nursing home patients. When the DCFS representative called the nursing home to verify the documents and learned that the resident was in continued nursing home care, the DCFS Investigator closed the case.
Taylor admitted to St. Landry detectives that she had altered a document from the nursing home in an effort to receive SNAP benefits on behalf of a patient. Detectives also discovered that she had been receiving SNAP benefits for the patient, her mother, for the last three years.
She was arrested and transported to the St. Landry Parish Jail on July 28, and charged with Unlawful Production, Manufacturing, Distribution or Possession of Fraudulent Documents for Identification Purposes, as well as Identity Theft.
Her bond was set at $3,500.
Additional charges are pending once the value of the SNAP benefits she received are calculated.