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Military spouses charged with welfare, food stamp fraud in Virginia Beach

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Virginia Beach, Va. – Tasheira Cope is the wife of an active-duty Navy sailor, living in Navy housing near Little Creek Amphibious Base.

She faces felony charges for lying on a welfare application and not properly reporting income in her household. She is not the only military wife accused of defrauding the government of more than $13,000.

Rochell Ferrah Kemp is also accused of defrauding the government of more than $16,000 in food stamps, while she was living in military housing with her husband.

“They are supposed to report to us his income, but a lot of times they will come to us and say he is not in the home,” said Janice Heater, a fraud investigator with Virginia Beach Human Services.

She says it’s not just military families contributing to the rise in cases coming into her office.

“We are up about 100 more cases than we were last year,” said Heater.

So far in 2013, the Virginia Beach Commonwealth Attorney has indicted more than 30 people for welfare or food stamp fraud totaling more than $200,000.

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