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The 33-year-old Racine woman accused of bilking the state out of more than $47,000 in welfare funds will spend time in jail and have to pay a fine after she accepted a plea deal.

In exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor public assistance fraud, Racine County Circuit Court Judge Michael Piontek sentenced Joanna Stinson to 30 days in jail and ordered to both pay a $1,000 fine and repay the state the money she illegally collected.

The more serious felony charges of failing to notify the state of a change in circumstances and a mis-statement of facts were dismissed but read into the record, online court records confirm.

Stinson was charged in July 2015 for collecting thousands by not telling the state her partner lived with her and was helping support their children. All told, investigators say Stinson was paid:

 

  • Food Share: $13,165 from January 2009 through May 2012
  • Medical Assistance: $8,503 from January 2010 through April 2012
  • Child Care: $31,689 from August 2009 through February 2012

According to the criminal complaint, the Department of Workforce Development received an anonymous tip in March 2012 that Stinson lied to the state about the father of her children living with her. Specifically, Stinson signed state aid applications on at least six different dates that indicated she lived alone with her two children when the father of her children was also a resident in the home.

Stinson was ordered to report to jail on May 7 to begin her sentence.