Charges: Woman uses 9 IDs to obtain more than $100k in SNAP, other benefits

A woman is charged with submitting fraudulent applications using nine different identities to receive more than $100,000 in food and emergency assistance benefits.

Narshanell Lashea Johnson is charged with one count of identity theft involving eight or more direct victims. Police believe from April 7 to April 13, she used nine different identities to fraudulently obtain government assistance benefits.

According to charges, the Minnesota Department Human Services (DHS) confirmed that Johnson applied for and received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Emergency Assistance and Emergency General Assistance (EAEGA) benefits using a total of nine different identities, ranging in age from 44-years-old to 4-year-old.

SNAP is a federal Food and Nutrition Service Program that is aimed to help people with low income supplement their food budget. Emergency assistance is one-time federal funding available for people in financial crisis due to circumstances such as flooding, fires and necessary home repairs.

Fake applications

According to charges, on April 7, 2022, Johnson submitted an application for government assistance to Stearns County in the name of Ladonna Reynolds, with four dependents, ages 14- to 4-years-old.

That same day, Johnson also submitted an application in Stearns County under the name Damia Anderson, with and additional three dependents, ages 10- to 4-years-old.

Following an investigation, the Social Security Administration and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) confirmed that each of the Social Security Numbers used by Johnson was valid, but not assigned to the individual indicated when she submitted the application.

Johnson also used an email address matching her real name when she completed the applications.

According to charges, around the same time in April 2022, Johnson also submitted another application for government assistance, separate from the two previous submissions, this time in Goodhue County. 

When she appeared for an interview with Goodhue County Human Services on April 11, she produced two temporary driver’s licenses from the State of Missouri under the name of "Ladonna Reynolds." 

However, an investigation determined that each driver’s license belonged to a different person.

On April 13, Johnson was arrested in Goodhue County.

According to police, Johnson has obtained the benefits in Minnesota using the fake identities, and submitting government assistance applications, in Hennepin, Goodhue, St. Louis, and Stearns counties.

Following an investigation, the BCA determined since 2019, Johnson had obtained more than $92,577 from government assistance in Stearns County, and $26,311 from applications in Hennepin County, according to charges.

Johnson has allegedly obtained government assistance funds from multiple states throughout several years, according to the charges, including in Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas.

Johnson has no permanent registered address.