E’town woman indicted on receiving fraudulent public benefits

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By Sarah Bennett

An Elizabethtown woman is accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $12,000 in public benefits over a four-year period.

Joyce McCarthy, 48, was indicted Thursday with one count of misrepresentation or failure to report a change to obtain public assistance benefits.

According to the indictment, McCarthy was receiving assistance through the Supplemen-tal Nutrition Assistance Program when she failed to report a change in her employment status, which would have affected her eligibility for benefits.

The indictment indicates the allegations occurred between Feb. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2012.

During that time frame, McCarthy allegedly accrued $12,715, according to the indictment.

An indictment is an allegation, not proof of guilt. A defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

McCarthy and her husband, Brian, pleaded guilty in August to 75 counts of second-degree animal cruelty — a misdemeanor offense.

The McCarthys were arrested March 21, 2012, after officials removed more than 100 dogs from their former residence in Vine Grove. According to police, the canines were living in dirty cages in 80-degree heat without water.

In an affidavit of indigence filed March 21, 2012, in Hardin District Court, Joyce McCarthy indicated she was self-employed and raised dogs. She reported earning $1,000 per month.

McCarthy listed her date of employment as 18 years.

She was scheduled to appear Tuesday for arraignment in Hardin Circuit Court.

McCarthy’s bond is set at $13,000 unsecured. She faces a Class D felony, which is punishable by one to five years in prison if convicted, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes.