Ex-Texas State Employee Pleads Guilty In Lone Star Card Scam

BEAUMONT (March 27, 20130—Former Texas Health and Services Commission senior investigator Melva Darlene Blakemore, 62, of Diboll, is facing a possible prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal charges in a scam to steal from people receiving government assistance to buy groceries through the state’s Lone Star card.

Federal prosecutors announced the plea Wednesday in Beaumont.

Blakemore was accused of advising an individual receiving the assistance of a $2,520 overpayment on the Lone Star Card and threatened indictment and prosecution unless the money was paid in cash with no receipt, court documents show.

The unnamed individual contacted local authorities who observed the payment to Blakemore in a parking lot in Nacogdoches, the documents show.

Blakemore then drove off, stopping to deposit some of the money in her bank account, the documents show.

The rest was found in her vehicle, the documents say.

She faces a sentence of as much as 10 years in prison and must repay a total of $31,000.

A sentencing date is pending.

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