Welfare queen Keashia Latriese Davis thought that pleading guilty to 17 counts of fraud in multiple states would allow her special treatment from the court. However, she quickly found out how wrong she was when the judge silenced the courtroom with his chilling reply — and it only took 3 bold words.
Keashia Latriese Davis used physical addresses from the real estate site Zillow to apply for food stamp cards (SNAP cards) online. Once approved, those cards were mailed to her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. An agent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General testified that a search of Davis’ apartment exposed 17 bags of stolen items that included personal information.
Addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers were chief among them. The haul also uncovered stolen mail that included a tax refund and a check from a utility company. Davis also kept detailed notebooks of her plan, and those notebooks were later used by authorities to piece together what she had done. The agent commented, “It was the most I’ve ever seen in any location.”
The state of Utah’s Department of Workforce Services initially contacted the USDA after becoming suspicious of Davis’ activities. Officials in Utah discovered that a number of SNAP benefit cards issued in Utah were being redeemed in Arkansas. The cards are meant to be used by in-state residents only. Davis had set up a mailbox in Utah then had the cards forwarded to her in Arkansas. She also obtained $56,185 in fraudulent benefits from Texas and $69,506 from Louisiana, in addition to the whopping $137,00 from Utah.
The mother of four confessed to using the SNAP benefits to purchase food and also sold the illegally obtained cards to get cash. With that money, she paid her monthly rent, utilities, and car payment. Her scheme was obviously illegal, and it hauled in more than $260,000 in just 14 months, between April of 2015 and May of 2016, all stolen from hard-working taxpayers.
When asked how she wished to plea to the charges, Davis replied, “Yes sir, I’m guilty,” hoping that the guilty plea would help her case by saving the State money in court and investigation costs. However, things didn’t go according to plan when U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. told her, “There’s a long ways between zero and 20 years. It’s my decision.”
It’s quite unfortunate that Davis chose to use her ingenuity to commit crimes rather than put it to use earning an honest living, which would have been a much better benefit to her family. Now, not only is she facing decades in jail, but her children will also suffer the consequences of her criminal actions as they face an uncertain future as well. In addition, this was far from a victimless crime as money was diverted from truly needy families.
Davis is facing a 20-year-sentence and a fine of $250,000, and she deserves to be hit with every minute and every penny the judge can throw at her. Hopefully, her case will become an example for others who wish to abuse the system and fraud the taxpayers. Welfare is meant to help people when in dire need, not allow them to bilk the taxpayer and the system to avoid work. Now, at least, one less welfare queen is living off the system.