Sentence has been imposed in a food stamp and medical benefit fraud case that is resolved through a plea agreement. 34-year-old Heidi Rinehart pled guilty to theft and fraud.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office said Rinehart was living in Laughlin when she falsely claimed residency in Kingman and Bullhead City while collecting Arizona benefits over an 18 month period.
“My client took money from the Department of Economic Security that she shouldn’t have,” defense attorney Ira Shiflett said at the October 21 sentencing hearing in Kingman. “She does want to take responsibility for defrauding the Department of Economic Security.”
Shiflett told the Court that substance abuse and drug addiction fueled Rinehart’s criminal behavior. He said she’ll need help to resolve those issues to successfully complete probation.
“I am sorry for my crimes that I have committed and I do take full responsibility for my actions,” Rinehart said.
Judge Billy Sipe placed Rinehart on probation for three years. She was credited for the 136 days in jail already served and released from custody.
Sipe ordered Rinehart to perform 50 hours of community work service. She must also pay back more than $39,000 in restitution.