Georgia Couple Living in $1 Million Home Accused Of Illegally Cashing WIC Checks
A Gwinnett County, Ga. couple is under federal fire after being accused of illegally cashing WIC checks, a taxpayer funded program for low-income pregnant women and mothers.
According to a criminal information complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, federal agents say Tamika Wright and Jermyn Wright were illegally accepting WIC vouchers and signed up for the program using fake applications so they could accept them.
According to federal agents the Wright’s owned or operated a number of stores mostly in the surrounding Metro-Atlanta area: Tucker, Fairburn, Lithonia, Macon, Atlanta, Decatur and Covington. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the scam helped fund luxury items such as an Escalade, a Rolex watch, and their home that’s appraised at more than $1 million in the upscale gated community of TPC Sugarloaf Golf Club.
Former federal prosecutor Bill Thomas says, “If you are not approved, it is the government’s theory you are stealing government funds.”
WIC provides food items like infant formula, infant and adult cereal, juice, eggs and more to help pregnant women and mothers feed their children. Participants of the program receive vouchers so they are able to redeem products at authorized vendors.
It is also being reported by WBS-TV that the courts want the Wright’s to forfeit all of their items that WIC helped fund, including their home. Their attorney has declined to comment on the pending case, but there is a plea hearing taking place on Aug. 20.