Kuna woman pleads guilty to defrauding Idaho child care, food stamp programs

Amanda Huckins, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally collecting more than $24,570 from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s child benefits program, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Idaho.

Prosecutors say Huckins, of Kuna, made the money by lying to Health and Welfare about benefits for a daycare from October 2010 through July 2015. The money came from Idaho Child Care Program benefits and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The latter is commonly known as the food stamp program. Both programs are federally funded.

The court documents focused specifically on action in 2013, when Health and Welfare registered a daycare supposedly owned and operated by Huckins’ husband. The charge she pleaded guilty to stems from an incident in February 2015, when Huckins “willfully and deliberately represented herself as her spouse” on a related application for the daycare’s benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A Boise grand jury indicted Huckins in March on a charge of making false statements and two counts of theft of government funds. With her guilty plea, the theft charges were dismissed.

Making a false statement is punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.

Huckins will be sentenced on Jan. 30 at the federal courthouse in Boise.