A 34-year-old Pasco woman pleaded innocent this week to accusations that she illegally collected state assistance for three children while they were living in Mexico with their father.
Krystal Marie Negrete is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with first-degree theft by welfare fraud. Her trial is Nov. 14.
According to court document, Negrete is accused of receiving $12,471 in public assistance from the state Department of Social and Health Services that she did not qualify for between April 2006 and June 2008.
Negrete received a variety of public assistance, including cash, medical, child care and food assistance from the state, documents said. During most of the 26-month period, she reported she had six dependents, including three children with Sergio Negrete, documents said.
DSHS officials received tips from people during that time that some or all three of Sergio Negrete's children were living with him, even though Krystal Negrete claimed them as dependents, documents said.
Eventually, in July 2008, a family member of the children was interviewed by DSHS and provided immunization records and school records that show the three children were living in Mexico with their father, documents said.