AUGUSTA — A Clinton woman has been charged with defrauding the state of more than $10,000 worth of food stamps and other benefits by falsely claiming that her three children lived with her.

Theresa M. Rice-Goodrich, 32, pleaded not guilty Friday at her arraignment on a felony charge of theft by deception and a misdemeanor charge of unsworn falsification.

She was released on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Rice-Goodrich was arrested Wednesday. She had been indicted by a grand jury in Kennebec County on Dec. 1. The indictment was sealed until her arrest.

The indictment says the theft occurred in the period from Jan. 1, 2006, to Aug. 31, 2011, in Kennebec County. It involved more than $10,000 worth of benefits from both food stamps and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, according to the indictment.

The indictment says Rice-Goodrich “did intentionally create or reinforce the impression that her three children were members of (her) household and were being supported by (her), which impression was false and which defendant did not believe to be true.”

The document involved in the unsworn falsification charge is in the court file. It is a copy of a six-month report for the state Department of Health and Human Services, indicating that four people, including Rice-Goodrich, lived in her household for the six months before Feb. 10, 2009.

The case is being prosecuted by the Maine Attorney General’s Office.


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