Skip to content
Back to Top

Press Release

Six Non-Alaskan Residents Charged for Defrauding the Adult Public Assistance Program

January 18, 2017

Today, the Office of Special Prosecutions charged six non-residents for defrauding the Adult Public Assistance program. The Adult Public Assistance program is designed as a State supplement to the Federal Supplemental Security Income program. The Adult Public Assistance program, which is funded entirely with state funds, is only available to Alaska residents. Furthermore, the Adult Public Assistance program is a needs based program with an income limit for recipients.

All of the defendants in these cases were advised during the application process that they needed to contact the Division of Public Assistance (DPA) if they changed their state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days. According to the allegations, all six individuals are no longer living in Alaska, but continued receiving the benefits without notifying DPA. One individual’s income exceeded the program’s eligibility limits.

The six non-residents are alleged to have collectively stolen $73,024.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Allegations Against Terrellyn Johnson

Terrellyn Johnson began receiving Adult Public Assistance in July of 2006. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Ms. Johnson’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. Mrs. Johnson received the Adult Public Assistance benefit of $362.00 per month. Mrs. Johnson was advised she needed to contact DPA, within ten days, if she changed her state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the DPA Fraud Control Unit revealed that Mrs. Johnson left Alaska in November of 2009 and never returned. Mrs. Johnson has lived in California and Arizona since she left Alaska. Mrs. Johnson never reported to DPA that she left Alaska. This resulted in the alleged theft of $31,170.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance. Ms. Johnson faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 and restitution to the State for the theft in the 1st degree charges.

Allegations Against Kelly Nuttall

Kelly Nuttall began receiving Adult Public Assistance in September of 2000. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Mr. Nuttall’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. He received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. Mr. Nuttall was advised that he needed to contact DPA, within ten days, if he changed his state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the DPA Fraud Control Unit revealed that Mr. Nuttall allegedly moved from Alaska in January of 2015. Mr. Nuttall never informed DPA that he moved outside of Alaska. This resulted in the alleged theft of $8,002.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Allegations Against John Thomas Adams

John Thomas Adams began receiving Adult Public Assistance in July of 2013. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Mr. Adams’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. He received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. Mr. Adams was advised that he needed to contact DPA, within ten days, if he changed his state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the DPA Fraud Control Unit revealed that Mr. Adams allegedly moved to Maine in September of 2014 and never returned. Mr. Adams never informed DPA that he moved to Maine. This resulted in the alleged theft of $9,008.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Allegations Against Marla Morris

Marla Morris began receiving Adult Public Assistance in July of 2012. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Ms. Morris’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. She received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. Ms. Morris was advised that she needed to contact DPA, within ten days, if she left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the DPA Fraud Control Unit revealed that Ms. Morris allegedly moved to Georgia in December of 2012. Ms. Morris moved back to Alaska in July of 2013, but allegedly left for Georgia in December of 2013. Ms. Morris moved back to Alaska in August of 2014. Ms. Morris allegedly left Alaska for Georgia in May of 2015 and never returned. Ms. Morris never reported her change of residency to DPA. This resulted in the alleged theft of $11,774.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Allegations Against Jeremy Cochran

Jeremy Cochran began receiving Adult Public Assistance and Food Stamps from May of 2015 to October of 2015 and April of 2016 to September of 2016. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Mr. Cochran’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. He received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. He received $73.00 per month in Food Stamps from May of 2015 to October of 2015. He received $201.00 per month in Food Stamps from April 2016 to September of 2016. Mr. Cochran was advised that he needed to report all changes to his income to DPA, within ten days, and that he needed to contact the Division of Public Assistance (“DPA”) if he left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the DPA Fraud Control Unit revealed that Mr. Cochran allegedly failed to report his gross wages of $32,852.12 from May of 2015 to October of 2015. Mr. Cochran also allegedly failed to report his gross wages of $35,381.59 from April of 2016 to September of 2016. The gross wages put Mr. Cochran well over the income limits for Adult Public Assistance and Food Stamps. In or around October of 2016, Mr. Cochran moved to Colorado. This resulted in the alleged theft of $4,344.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance and $1,644.00 worth of Food Stamps.

Allegations Against Sengdao Chitthaphong

Sengdao Chitthaphong began receiving Adult Public Assistance in May of 2015. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Mr. Chitthaphong’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. He received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. Mr. Chittaphong was advised that he needed to contact DPA, within 10 days, if he changed his state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the DPA Fraud Control Unit revealed that Mr. Chittaphong allegedly moved to California in October of 2014 and never returned. Mr. Chittaphong was in Alaska for only five months before he moved to California. Mr. Chittaphong never reported his change of residency to DPA. This resulted in the alleged theft of $8,726.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Potential Penalties

All of the defendants, with the exception of Terrellyn Johnson, face a possible sentence of up to five years in prison, a $50,000 fine and restitution to the State of Alaska for the theft in the 2nd degree charges.

All of the charges discussed herein are merely allegations and are not evidence of guilt. All of the defendants are presumed innocent. All of the defendants are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Charles Agerter @ (907) 269-7945 at the Office of Special Prosecutions.

# # #