Food stamp fraud suspect, ‘I did it for my children’

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Guam – A Payless employee caught stealing food stamp benefits from an unsuspecting customer said she did it for her children.

Temberlynn Juanet Cruz was employed as a cashier at Payless Grocery store at the Micronesia Mall.

According to the Guam Police Department, the victim noticed a $100 transaction charged to her EBT card which she did not authorize.

Payless then began a review of EBT transactions discovering that Cruz had made an EBT transaction without an accompanying receipt.

Police said she had used someone else’s food stamp card by manually inputting the first 8 numbers because they were always the same. She then tried her luck by randomly guessing the last four digits.

Police said that Cruz explained she never actually took anything from Payless, but wanted to charge it because she has four young children she is taking care of.

Cruz was charged with fraudulent use of public assistance, unauthorized use of benefits and fraudulent use of a credit card. She was booked and confined.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.