Sentencing in food stamp fraud case delayed

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The sentencing hearing of the public health worker who pleaded guilty to official misconduct has been delayed yet again as the co-actor has yet to resolve her case.

In court on Tuesday, Jennifer Topacio was supposed to be sentenced according to her plea agreement for official misconduct. Topacio accepted the deal in February admitting to food stamp fraud.

According to the plea agreement, she will not serve any time behind bars. However, the sentencing was delayed as co-defendant Yolanda Digomon has yet to accept a deal with the government and because Topacio’s agreement is a cooperation deal which means that if Digomon goes to trial, Topacio will be made to testify against her.

Topacio and Digomon were each indicted on charges of unauthorized use of benefits as a third degree felony; fraudulent use of public assistance as a third degree felony; impersonation, identity theft as a third degree felony and official misconduct as a misdemeanor.

According to the indictment, in 2015 both women knowingly acquired or transferred food stamps in violation of the Federal Food Stamp Act of 1977 in excess of $100.

Digomon is anticipated to enter into a deal with the government on Sept. 24 while Topacio is scheduled to come back to court on that same day for sentencing.

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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.