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Medford couple ordered to pay restitution for EBT card fraud

A Medford couple were ordered today to pay full restitution of more than $161,000 they stole by Electronic Benefits Transfer card fraud after they pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court, officials said.

Stacie Coviello-Hickey, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of larceny over $250, false representations to procure welfare, and false representations related to the Division of Medical Assistance, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said in a statement.

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Her husband, Ronald Hickey, 44, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting larceny over $250. The two were ordered by Judge Christine Roach to serve five years of probation and pay restitution in the amount of $161,303, the statement said.

The state auditor’s office referred the case to the attorney general’s office.

Coviello-Hickey did not report that she was living with Hickey, who was making more than $80,000 a year with health insurance that would cover the family. This would have made her and her children ineligible for the assistance she was receiving from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), MassHealth, and the Supplemental Security Income Disability (SSI) program, the statement said.

Hickey did not report the fraud to authorities, and also obtained a lease from a third party that said he was renting an apartment elsewhere and not living with Coviello-Hickey, the office said.

The two were indicted May 9 by a Suffolk County grand jury.

Melissa can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson

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