LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) - A former state employee and an alleged accomplice have been charged with running a food stamps fraud operation in Lebanon.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1nrWegA ) that 43-year-old Tracey Deshaye Timbs and 31-year-old Michael Nichols have been indicted on charges including food stamp fraud, identity theft trafficking, records tampering and fraudulent receipt of temporary assistance.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the Department of Human Services learned of fraudulent food stamp accounts being created and sold out of its Lebanon office, where Timbs worked as an eligibility counselor.

Authorities say Timbs tampered with government records and created at least 40 false accounts with more than $150,000 in benefits, including some exchanged for cash and drugs.

DHS has fired Timbs. Both Timbs and Nichols were released from the Wilson County Jail on bond.

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