NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has obtained indictments for a Smith County woman and an accomplice accused of participating in a far-reaching SNAP (previously known as food stamps) fraud case.

At the request of the Tennessee Department of Human Services and 15th District Attorney General Tommy Thompson, TBI Special Agents began investigating Tracey Deshaye Timbs on April 11th. In early 2014, DHS became aware of possible fraudulent SNAP accounts being created and sold for profit out of its Lebanon office on Legends Drive, where Timbs worked as an Eligibility Counselor. Investigators further determined Timbs, who lives in Pleasant Shade, tampered with government records to create the accounts, producing EBT cards and identifying information, which were subsequently mailed to several people, including Michael Nichols, in exchange for cash and drugs. As of today, the investigation has identified more than 40 false accounts with more than $150,000 in benefits being distributed fraudulently. The Department of Human Services subsequently terminated Timbs’ employment.

On Monday, the Wilson County Grand Jury returned indictments for Timbs (TOP BELOW), charging the 43-year-old with 10 counts of Identity Theft Trafficking, one count of Official Misconduct, one count of Food Stamp Fraud, one count of Fraudulent Receipt of Temporary Assistance and one count of Tampering with Government Records. The Grand Jury also returned indictments for Nichols (BOTTOM), charging the 31-year-old Gallatin man with three counts of Food Stamp Fraud and three counts of Fraudulent Receipt of Temporary Assistance. Both subjects were booked into the Wilson County Jail tonight and released after posting bond. The investigation, alongside the DHS Office of Investigations, continues, with the possibility of additional subjects and charges in the future.

Tracey TimbsMatthew Nichols

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