(Stillwater) – A Cushing woman who was sought for more than two and one-half years was arraigned on a food stamp fraud charge this week in Payne County District Court.

Donna Peaslee, 47, lived in Stillwater when she was accused of having illegally obtained $1,179 in food stamps based on an application that she and her husband had no income. Her husband was in fact employed, the charge alleges.

A warrant was issued for Peaslee’s arrest in February 2006, but she was not apprehended until a month ago, court records show. When she posted $1,000 bail on Aug. 27, Peaslee listed a Cushing address.

If convicted of obtaining public assistance by false representation, Peaslee could be given a $5,000 fine and a two-year prison term, according to the felony charge filed by prosecutor Tom Lee.

An affidavit by state Department of Human Services investigator Neal Cheever alleges that Payne County food stamp worker April Hunt can testify that on May 25, 2005, she interviewed Peaslee and told her of her responsibility to timely report all income that she or her husband received.

Hunt can also testify that on Oct. 13, 2005, she spoke to Donna Peaslee’s husband, Frank Peaslee, and discovered that he had been employed by Labor Finders from June 14, 2005 through Oct. 10, 2005, the affidavit alleges. Hunt can also testify that Donna Peaslee listed her husband, Frank Peaslee, as living in her household, the affidavit alleges.

Denise Winzenburg, the office manager for Labor Finders, can testify that Frank Peaslee was employed from June 14, 2005 through Dec. 2, 2005, the affidavit alleges.

DHS overpayment section representative Linda R. Jones can testify that Donna Peaslee’s failure to report her husband’s income at Labor Finders resulted in her receiving $1,179 unauthorized food stamp benefits for the period of Aug. 1, 2005, through Oct. 31, 2005, the affidavit alleges.

*Copyright 2008 by Patti Weaver. This story may not be rewritten, reprinted or redistributed.*