Woman Sentenced for Welfare Fraud

Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Jesika Manchester Kuhl, 29 years old, of Santa Barbara pled to one count of Offering False Evidence, in violation of Penal Code section 132, a felony.

On February 22, 2017, Kuhl pled to one count of Welfare Fraud, in violation of Welfare and Institutions Code section 10980(g)(1), a misdemeanor. The evidence in this case established that Kuhl had been selling food stamp benefits for cash. She was then placed on probation and required to perform fifty hours of community work service at a local non-profit agency, among other terms and conditions.

On August 23, 2017, Kuhl presented a letter to a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge which purported that she fulfilled her entire community service obligation.

Subsequent investigation by the Santa Barbara Welfare Fraud Unit determined that the letter was forged, and that Kuhl had only performed approximately one third of the hours of work at the non-profit agency.

District Attorney Dudley stated, “Whenever feasible, the District Attorney’s Office will criminally prosecute anyone who presents false evidence or testimony to the Court.” This case was investigated by Welfare Fraud Investigator Kristina Rauchhaus and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Justin Greene.

Ms. Kuhl will be sentenced on April 18, 2018 when she will be placed on probation for three years, ordered to serve 90 days in the Santa Barbara County Jail, and will be required to complete her outstanding community service obligation. 

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. If you suspect welfare fraud contact the California Services for Welfare Fraud in this county:
    Santa Barbara County
    (805) 346-7285
    One must know what is getting called “welfare” before anyone can agree on the numbers – public services run vast and deep, while we constantly hear 30% of the county lives below the poverty line. Time for some sunshine on this issue before we fall to the constant refrain “we should be doing more”. What exactly are we doing now and is it helping or making problems worse. There is a welfare-industrial complex in this county that soon has a self-perpetuating life of its own.

  2. Yes, shine some light on this. Seems some people who need it don’t “qualify” yet those who have learned the game qualify for everything. Stop EBT and let people ask their families for help. These services ought to be for AFTER all other resources were exhausted. Don’t we all know someone who is on services yet drives a new car, has been to many concerts at the bowl and has the premier cable package? I sure do!

  3. The failed welfare food stamp programs have been carefully engineered by Democrats to destroy the American work ethic and keep People poor and dependent of big government. If these people ever break out of the free stuff madness the Democrats lose a vote…real sick stuff going on by the left.
    College kids vote Democrat because their unhappy college professors and the rich Hollywood elites tell them that Venezuela type socialism really works. Sadly these college kids are dumb as rocks and believe the Bernie Sanders Jerry Brown narrative of free stuff for everyone similar to Venezuela’s socialism utopia/nightmare.
    The press is just hides the truth.

  4. Back to the usual right wing whipping boy/girl. Yes this is a bad act and the attempt to con the court is crappy. But “welfare” fraud is absolutely overblown by the sort of fraud committed by the big boys and girls in corporate world. Just one of the frauds of just one of the many banks over the past few years would cover all the “welfare fraud” of the century. And in what category do we put department heads who spend millions of $ of taxpayer money for first class travel and housing for boondoggle trips (such was watching the eclipse)? Or what kind of theft is committed with federal department head wants a $31,000 dining set in his office while cutting back on staff for housing and urban needs? This is Reagan stuff–welfare queens and all.

  5. Since having the “new” welfare debit cards, the county eliminated one way to get people off welfare…. no shame. no embarrassment for using food stamps.
    A friend worked at the Post Office, and they used to be the ones that handed out the food stamps and welfare checks, and some of those food stamp recipients would sell them on the steps outside the P.O. !!! Some got caught doing that.
    With the new system with the debit cards, I’m sure the bank makes money on this new system……

  6. Bell curve – 10% poor -10% rich and there will always be 80% in the middle class. Always. America has always been a country where those born into the poor 10% have equal opportunities to rise to the top 10%, and plenty of options to get into the middle. Only 17% of this country has inherited wealth, and they often squander it. The other 83% make their way on their own. This is a very fluid society economically. Go SBCC, Ventura or Alan Hancock to learn a useful trade, if you feel you are not making it on your own right now.

  7. Much ado about almost nothing. Wasn’t there a recent story about a guy who defrauded investors of millions and was going to get a slap on the wrist? I don’t know why we are so hard on a relatively minor criminal. Did any of those guys that tanked the economy in 2007 go to jail? Just Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff. I bet they waste more money on a typical day at the Pentagon than all of the food stampers in the entire US.

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