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Salinas Couple Pleads No Contest to Felony Welfare Fraud

SALINAS (CBS SF/BCN) -- A Salinas couple pleaded no contest to felony welfare fraud Tuesday in Monterey County District Court.

Brenda Rojas Rangel, 42, and Jose Omar Chavez, 44, chose not to contest charges that they received food stamps and cash aid due to their false claim they were unemployed. An investigation by the Department of Social Services and the Monterey County District Attorney's Office revealed that both people were employed at an income level well above the income level to receive benefits.

The failure to report income resulted in an overpayment of benefits of $21,331.

Each of them face up to three years of formal felony probation, up to 365 days in jail, and an order to pay back the loss directly to the Department of Social Services.

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