Affidavit: Lufkin woman scammed the state for $3,426 in childcare assistance

Affidavit: Lufkin woman scammed the state for $3,426 in childcare assistance

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety arrested a 27-year-old Lufkin woman Thursday in connection to allegations that she fraudulently received state-subsidized child care assistance from January to May of 2012 that totaled $3,426.63.

Cenvasea Centael Berry is still being held in the Angelina County jail on a state-jail felony theft between $1,500 and $20,000 charge. No bail has been set at this time.

According to the arrest affidavit, the Texas Workforce Commission receives funds for child care assistance from various sources - both state and federal - and distributes those funds throughout Texas for families who qualify to receive partial tuition to pay for child care.

One of the conditions for this assistance through a program called Workforce Solutions Child Care Services is that parents are required to either work, attend school, or participate in job training for at least 25 hours a week.

The affidavit stated that Berry had received child care assistance from the TWC on and off, starting in August of 2005. Berry supplied verification that she started working at Pilgrim's Pride in November 2011. On April 2, 2012, Berry reported that her last day at Pilgrim's Pride was March 23, 2012.

Berry started a new job at ETech in Lufkin on April 16, 2012, the affidavit stated, and as a result, the CCS assistance was continued. However, when CCS called ETech to verify Berry's employment, the officials learned that Berry's last day to work there was April 20, and she did not report her unemployment within 10 days.

Further investigation by CCS officials revealed that Berry was fired from Pilgrim's Pride on Jan. 25, meaning that her last day of employment with the company wasn't March 23, as she had told CCS officials.

According to the affidavit, Berry received state-subsidized child care services from Jan. 26 to May 6 of 2012 that totaled $3,426.63.

The affidavit was signed on April 21.

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