Riverton woman charged with public welfare fraud, hearing set June 4th

(Riverton, Wyo.) – A 40-year-old Riverton resident charged with unlawfully making false statements to obtain public welfare benefits is slated for a preliminary hearing on June 4th in Ninth District Circuit Court. Fawna Sanchez, also known as Fawna Friday, is alleged to have received $36,370.95 between March 1, 2010 and September 2013, that she was not eligible for.

The charge against defendant Sanchez is a felony, punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $10,000 or both.

An affidavit by Department of Family Services Fraud and Recovery Investigator Dawn Sherwin alleges that Sanchez originally filed an application for health care coverage on March 10, 2010, and listed herself, five children and her spouse, Ruben Sanchez, as household members. The application declared that the household’s only income was from per capita payments. The application was approved.

Sherwin, however, said an income verification check for Ruben Sanchez revealed he was employed by Unit Drilling of Tulsa, Oklahoma since Dec. 28, 2005 to at least April 2013 and that he had earned about $15,108 in four checks from February 12, 2010 to March 26, 2010.

On May 7, 2010, the affidavit alleges that Fawna Sanchez filed an application for benefits for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps, stating she had three children and was pregnant with two babies. In this application, the affidavit alleges that Sanchez did not list Ruben Sanchez as a member of her household. An Absent Parent Form was requested from Fawna Sanchez, but it apparently was never produced, resulting in a termination of benefits on May 31, 2010. Several months later, the defendant allegedly reported to a DFS employee that she “did not want to claim her husband for medical in the household because he was illegal.”

The affidavit further alleges that DFS sent a notice to defendant Sanchez on July 22, 2010, requesting that she complete a change report to add her husband to the case and make a declaration of his income. On July 29th, 2010, Sanchez submitted a Kid Care Chip/Equality Care application for benefits that included Ruben Sanchez as her spouse and that she had three children. The husband’s monthly income was listed at $4,600 for a job “in Pinedale.”

Another income verification check was conducted and it disclosed that Ruben Sanchez had been paid $12,137 over a period of two months, from June 4, 2010 to July 30, 2010.

On February 21, 2013, the affidavit indicated another Kid Care Chip/Equality Care application signed by the defendant was received, that claimed herself, her spouse and five children as household members, and she indicated Ruben Sanchez was not a U.S. Citizen, but still worked for Unit Drilling with income of $3,450 a month.

Another income verification indicated that Ruben Sanchez, during the time in question of the last application, had earned $32,006 during that four month period, or about $8,000 per month.

On May 23rd of 2013, Sherwin interviewed Fawna Sanchez at the DFS field office in Riverton at which time the affidavit alleges that “she (Sanchez) submitted false information on her applications in order to received Medicaid benefits.” Further, Sanchez wrote in a statement, “The information I provided wasn’t the whole amount he made because I wanted someone to contact me so I can explain my situation to a live person.”





  1. Corky Blackman

    She cant pay back if shes in jail

  2. Btheclown Myob

    she can sit in jail for awhile, then she can pay that money back. she needs to learn a lesson. some people actually need this kind of assistance to make it from month to month. hope they put financial leans on her cars, property & house but im sure that's not what she spends stolen money on.

  3. Margaret Waters

    I m living in an abusive relationship and I have no job. My spouse says I'm worthless. Welfare is strange u tell the truth they dont help u. You tell a lie and they'll throw in food stamps and even a metro card for going. What is this world coming to.

  4. Margaret Waters

    You lie they help you you go with the truth your on your own

  5. Steve StClair

    Bitch deserves jail.

  6. B Michael Friday

    Damn that's messed up!!!

  7. Raphaella Stump

    More education is needed on the dos and don'ts and the DFS workers need to make sure of everything and that all the questions a person may have is answered thoroughly and that rules ate undetstood. So many young couples today consider their money separate. They don't share it sometimes for reasons that need to be examined. Is it an all about me society now or is it ignorance because there are so many grey areas in the government requirements? I find it hatd to believe since she did say a d kept daying he was illegal. So if he has I9 or a green card to work maybe she should have been advised that she HAD to report his income too. Bit if he not sharing then what?

  8. Tam Harris

    I know Fawna. She is a good person and a good mother. She takes great care of her children. Who knows what her struggle and her story is better than herself? I will pray for her and her family. It's difficult when the other parent isn't around and have to rely on assistance from the county or the tribe. I understand the crap DFS puts you through…when you go to them with the truth you never get the help you need. It's a flawed system. Prayers for her and her children.

  9. Charla Hall

    so what they own us natives any way after all the land theft genocide ect if it was a white person she wouldnt be charged 10 years is a long time and then her kids will have no parent

  10. Antoinette Jorgenson

    No one is PERFECT!

  11. I don't blame her. the system is fkd. I can even get health care n my baby got chopped too. Wyoming is hicktown USA. a white person even told me that straight up.

  12. I meant I can't

  13. Antoinette Jorgenson


  14. Becky Bell

    Just because he earned it doesn't mean he was in the house hold. Who knows it may have went to his own living expenses.

  15. Carol Hooxei Hesinee

    Yeah whatever. You sit in jail for one day and then get back on here and put out that kind of judgment. Her small indiscretions will never amount to what is owed to her from the theft of our native land out from under us and her five babies need her. Give her some empathy. As for you, there's a boat waiting to take you home.

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