Locustville woman receives suspended sentence for welfare fraud

October 19, 2020
 |
Accomack County Courthouse

By Linda Cicoira

In the second case, 39-year-old Charmonique Niketa Hamilton, of Locustville, was given a suspended six-year term for three counts of welfare fraud. She paid $3,573 in restitution based on her sale of cakes, income she did not report to the Accomack Department of Social Services.

Judge Lewis said this case was not “the same kind of intent as someone sticking (a) hand in the case register.”

Hamilton, was initially indicted on 15 counts of welfare fraud that were alleged to have occurred between January 2015 and June 2018. The defendant said when asked about the cakes, she immediately disclosed details about the side business and started reporting all earnings.

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Hamilton started making cakes for family members after breaking her ankle and losing her job. The baking became a side business. Healed, she now also works at a health care company and at a local grocery store to support herself and her three children.

“I keep a record of everything,” she said. “I keep a ledger. I obtained a business license. I constantly keep in contact with my social worker so she will know what’s going on.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said part of the reason he was so diligent about prosecuting Hamilton was her prior record. He said she was convicted of theft from Onancock Deli and Corner Mart and of Walmart gift cards that were taken from an employee.

Morgan said it is“very hard to take Ms. Hamilton at her word … this is another offense in a series of … dishonest acts.”

 

 

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