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Woman And Former Jackson County Prosecutor Arrested For Welfare Fraud
Updated July 14, 2016 6:58 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SEYMOUR) - A woman accused of stealing more than $6,500 in public assistance has been arrested along with her boss, who is a Seymour attorney and former Jackson County prosecutor.

49-year-old Teresa L. Cantu of Seymour faces Level 6 felony charges of welfare fraud and perjury while her 68-year-old boss, Stephen S. Pierson, faces a Level 6 felony charge of welfare fraud in connection with the investigation that led to Cantu's arrest.

Pierson, who was Jackson County prosecutor from 2003 to 2007, told the Seymour Tribune sometimes the justice system misfires and expects everything to be over quickly.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the investigation that led to the arrest of Cantu began February 17. That's when Scott Davis, an investigator with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Compliance Division, received information Cantu had failed to report all of the income she had been receiving while working for Pierson to the Jackson County Division of Family Resources.

Cantu had received food stamps and Medicaid from January 2015 to March 2016 while living in Seymour. She also allegedly sold two vehicles to auto dealerships for a total of $18,500 and failed to report those resources when she applied for public assistance on at least three occasions.

During the investigation, witnesses who worked with Cantu at the law firm told Davis that Pierson had been paying her at least $500 a week in cash.

Cantu had also been given cash to pay for vacations, family trips, gymnastics lessons and for her to get her hair and nails done.

Witnesses say Pierson paid Cantu in cash so it would not affect her government benefits.

Cantu also received $200 a week in child support from her ex-husband and that income was not reported when she applied for public assistance.

Overall, the investigation showed Cantu received $6,526.47 in public assistance.

The two surrendered to police Monday afternoon at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown. Pierson was booked in at 4:04 p.m. and released a minute later after posting a $1,505 bond.

Cantu was booked into the jail at 5:20 p.m. Monday and released at 5:33 p.m. after posting a $1,505 bond.

No court dates have been set.

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