GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County couple is facing federal fraud charges accused of illegally cashing in on a taxpayer funded program, WIC, for low-income pregnant woman and mothers.
The WIC program provides infant formula, infant and adult cereal, juice, eggs, milk and other goods to help feed young children.
WIC participants receive vouchers which they can redeem at authorized vendors.
According to a criminal information complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, federal agents say Tamika Wright and Jermyn Wright are accused of illegal cashing WIC vouchers and applying for the program through the use of fraudulent applications.
Federal agents say the couple owned or ran stores in Tucker, Fairburn, Lithonia, Macon, Atlanta, Decatur and Covington.
“If you are not approved, it is the government’s theory you are stealing government funds,” said Bill Thomas, a former federal prosecutor.
Investigators say the couple used the money obtained through the scheme to purchase items like an Escalade, a Rolex watch and a home in an exclusive gated community at the TPC Sugarloaf Golf Club.
The house is appraised at more than $1 million, according to county records.
Steve Sadow, the couple’’s attorney, declined comment on the case. A plea hearing is set for Aug. 20.