A 39-year-old faces trial Jan. 23 for allegedly lying about her job status while collecting nearly $9,000 in state food assistance over 2 1/2 years.
Alma Rosa Guzman pleaded innocent this week in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree theft.
The Tri-City woman worked at Tyson Fresh Meats when she scammed the state of more than $9,200 in benefits, prosecutors allege.
In December 2005, Guzman applied for public assistance through the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. She claimed she was not employed and was granted financial and food benefits based on her application.
She continued to claim that she was not working in various documents submitted to the state agency between January 2006 and April 2008, court documents show.
Yet, Guzman had been working at Tyson between October 2005 and May 2008 under the name of Maria L. Narciso, documents said.
Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor alleges Guzman had an identification card with the Narciso name, and a Tyson assistant payroll manager confirmed for investigators that Guzman and Narciso are the same person.
The Department of Social and Health Services calculated that during that time, it overpaid Guzman $321 in financial benefits and $8,898 in food assistance, documents said.
Warrant issued after woman fails to show for court date
A bench warrant was issued for a Kennewick woman who missed her court date on new charges she racked up $2,500 on another woman's credit card.
Christina M. Forzaglia, 19, was scheduled to make her first appearance in court on one count of first-degree identity theft.
Judge Craig Matheson ordered the warrant when she failed to show up this week.
According to court documents, Forzaglia made the credit card charges between April 1 and July 2.
The card belonged to another woman and, when confronted by the victim and police, Forzaglia reportedly admitted to the fraud, documents said.
The card's owner did not give permission for Forzaglia to use her card.