Child Support Fraud

Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster

13 suspects arrested for child support fraud

Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster, Fort Bend TX, USA, Thursday, June 22, 2006.

Investigators with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office have issued 13 warrants for the arrests of various individuals in the Fort Bend County area for their alleged involvement in organized criminal activity.

Terriann Carlson, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said that in the early part of May 2006, authorities began investigating several people who committed fraud on the Office of the Attorney Generals' Child Support Division and stole a collective $39,000 in child support payments.

According to investigators, the key suspect, Tonya Jackson, 32, of the Rosenberg area, knowingly issued payment for court-ordered child support with checks that were forged with someone else's signature on an account which she was not authorized to issue checks.

Since the checks appeared to have been sent by the non-custodial parent, the Child Support Division would then issue support payments to the custodial parent, which was Tonya Jackson.

Further, it is evident some accounts were opened for the sole purpose of issuing child support payments. The temporary checks issued from accounts with minimum deposits were later closed due to issuance of bad checks. Payments were also issued from accounts that were closed and/or had insufficient funds in the account.

Jackson then went on to represent herself to other custodial parents as a worker for the Child Support Division and offered to help them in receiving child support payments. Once they received payment they would give Jackson half.

A total of 13 suspects were issued child support payments totaling over $39,000 and all the while the non-custodial parents who are under court order to pay child support had no knowledge of the payments.

Those 13 suspects are Jackson, Bonnie Gonzales, 50, Sonya Hawkins, 31, Tonya Hawkins, 31, Kasey Nichole Patterson, 27, Michelle Lung, 32, Tranell Girtman, 34, Equilla Gardner, 23, Debra Hodge, 41, Roslynn Fridia, 28, Rosylin McGrew Batiste, 34, and Colandra Rena Jones, 33. Each has a warrant issued for engaging in organized criminal activity, with a $5,000 bond.

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