U.S. Attorney: 3 Ex-FSSA Workers Involved In 'Large-Scale Theft'

Nearly $200,000 In Federal Funds Stolen, Feds Say

Three former employees of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration face federal theft charges, accused of stealing nearly $200,000 from federal programs administered by the agency.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said Tuesday that the workers -- Robert Edwards, Timberly Snyder and Adina Lopez -- were involved in "large-scale theft."

The indictment alleges that Edwards, Snyder and Lopez created dozens of EBT cards, taking a total of $191,103.89, primarily from food stamp funds and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The thefts occurred from December 2008 through April 2010, Hogsett said.

Authorities said Edwards, Snyder and Lopez generated fraudulent benefit cards in the names of more than 100 people, gaining access to the names through the FSSA, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported

The cards were used to get money from ATMs and were used to buy various items, authorities said, and some of the cards were sold to third parties.

The thefts were discovered by state officials, but the investigation was turned over to federal authorities because the case involved federal funds.

Investigators said Edwards stole nearly $126,000, Snyder, an administrator, pocketed nearly $60,000 and Lopez, a caseworker, stole $5,300, officials said.

Edwards and Snyder were asked to leave FSSA in April 2010. Federal investigators arrested Lopez on the job Tuesday.

"Anyone who steals from Hoosier taxpayers will be held strictly accountable by this office. This is particularly so when it is theft by public employees, people who have violated our trust," Hogsett said.

Edwards, Snyder and Lopez each face a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 fine.