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A Belle Fourche woman pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to three charges related to illegally obtaining government benefits. 

Cindy Lou Geib, 49, pleaded guilty to Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fraud and theft of government property for obtaining SSI payments. She also pleaded guilty to making false statements in her applications for Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps) benefits. 

The theft count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. The two other charges carry maximum sentences of five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. 

As part of her plea agreement, Geib will have to pay $112,468.10 — the amount of benefits she illegally received — to the programs she stole from. 

The agreement also says that three theft of government property charges for obtaining SNAP, Medicaid and Low Income Energy Assistance Program benefits will be dropped. Two counts of making false statements were also dismissed. 

In a factual basis statement, Geib admitted to failing to accurately report her and her husband's income and knowing that she would have been ineligible for these government benefits if she had accurately reported her information. 

Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollman did not set a sentencing date for Geib, who remains out of custody. 

Benjamin Patterson, assistant U.S. attorney, said the case was prosecuted due to internal fraud detection, not any special campaign to identify benefits fraud. 

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— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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