Woman pleads guilty to food stamp fraud

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A woman who conspired with the owner of a restaurant to defraud the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program has taken responsibility for her role in the crime.

Stephanie Muna would provide her SNAP benefit card to Marites Barrogo, the owner of Laguna Best Restaurant, who would use the SNAP EBT card to purchase food items for the restaurant in exchange for cash.

Muna also conspired to acquire SNAP benefits from other individuals for use by Barrogo.

She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use, transfer, acquire, alter, or possess SNAP benefits without authorization — a Class D felony charge carrying a maximum of 5 years incarceration.

Muna’s attorney, Curtis Van De Veld, requested for a brief break during the hearing as his client was visibly distressed.

He told the court that Muna’s benefits have been reduced but that she has been making restitution despite this.

A conviction in the case means she could lose the benefits altogether and could also be liable for further restitution.

A status hearing has been set for September following the sentencing of Barrogo in October.

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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.