A judge last week sentenced a Rankin County, Miss., mother of two to three years in federal prison for lying on her food stamp application.
U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate applied the three-year sentence to Anita McLemore, 47, because she lied about being convicted of a felony, the Clarion Ledger reported.
The sentence that McLemore received is more than the two-year sentence handed down in June to James Arthur Ray, a self-help guru convicted of three counts of negligent homicide. McLemore will also serve more time in federal prison than a group of people recently sentenced in a multimillion dollar fraud scheme.
McLemore is a mother of two teenagers.
The Clarion Ledger reported on Nov. 11 that McLemore pleaded guilty back in July to one count of submitting a false claim to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps program, lying that she has never been convicted of a felony.
McLemore made false statements in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, an indictment reviewed by the media shows. She reportedly received $4,367 in benefits, but has since paid the money back, according to The Ledger.
Wingate said records show that McLemore has at least four felony drug convictions and one misdemeanor conviction dating back to 1996. He said McLemore's guilty plea to making false statements is her sixth conviction.
The defendant's criminal record is simply abominable, Wingate said, as reported by the Ledger. She has been the beneficiary of government generosity in state court.
The judge also said McLemore spent only 10 days in state custody on the state drug charges.
While committing this offense, she was still on supervised released, Wingate said, as reported by The Ledger. While on bond, she tested positive for drugs.
The Ledger also reported that in 2006, McLemore received a 20-year suspended sentence for conspiracy to sell a controlled substance.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Omodare Jupiter told Wingate that he objects to the sentence because it is excessive.
Despite the objection, Wingate also fined McLemore $250 and has said she will be on supervised release for three years after serving her three-year sentence. She reports to prison Jan. 3.
At the time, the Ledger reported that within the last two weeks, six defendants in two related mortgage fraud cases with loans totaling some $5.8 million got sentences that ranged from house arrest to 30 months in prison. All six of those defendants had no previous felony convictions, the paper reported.