Mother sentenced for stealing child’s SSI, SNAP

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Court Gavel

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A Rapid City woman has been sent to federal prison for two counts of false statements involving benefits her child was supposed to be receiving.

Jolenta Apodaca, also known as Jolenta American Horse, was sentenced to 6 months in federal custody, followed by 2 years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken also directed that the 44-year-old Apodaca repay $26,920 to the Social Security Administration and $4,713 to the South Dakota Department of Social Services, as well as pay $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Her criminal activities came to attention after a third party, who had been taking care of Apodaca’s child for several years, applied for state benefits for the child, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons.

A subsequent investigation found Apodaca had been receiving Social Security benefits for the child for several years but was spending the money on herself.

The investigation also found Apodaca had misused Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments that belonged to the child.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Sazama prosecuted the case.

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