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      Dougherty County woman on trial for Public Assistance Fraud

      Update (3/14/13)District Attorney Greg Edwards announced that Johnson has been found guilty of public assistance fraud by the jury on Thursday.

      She is sentenced to 5 years probation, a $1,000 fine and has been ordered to pay back the $5093 she received in public assistance.Initial StoryA Dougherty County woman is on trial facing a Public Assistance Fraud charge after the Georgia Department of Community Affairs says she left her husband off of her application in order to qualify for public housing.Officials say Carol Ann Johnson of Albany received $380 a month towards her $500 monthly rent in 2007 and $489 per month in 2008 based off of her application, which listed only her and some of her children as occupants.The department says Johnson left off her husband, who they say was living at the home after Theresa Clark, a worker for the department, checked on the home and filed a complaint saying she found Anthony Ashberry living at the residence.Johnson says she and Ashberry are separated, as she stated on the application, and says he was only at the home to help with problems going on with her children, who were juveniles at the time.Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards who is representing the state in the case, says it doesn't matter what the reason is for the husband being at the house, what does matter is that he was staying there and Johnson didn't disclose the information as the law requires.Officials say Johnson received $5,000.93 from August 24th, 2007 to July 1st, 2008 that she didn't qualify for. Due to the amount being more than $500, the charge becomes a felony.If found guilty by the jury, Johnson could face up to 5 years in prison for Public Assistance Fraud.