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.