AUGUSTA — A Somerset County woman was ordered to repay the state almost $9,800 for welfare assistance she collected over four years by falsely claiming her young son lived with her.

Johanna Mary Cooley, 30, of Harmony, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception which occurred between Feb. 1, 2007, and April 30, 2011.

Her attorney, Harold Hainke, told the judge that Cooley used the money for drugs but has been substance-free for the past two years and expects to get a job to pay the restitution when she is released from jail.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell, said the Department of Health & Human Services received several complaints from neighbors that the boy was not living with Cooley, and, in fact, Cooley had seen her son only about eight times since late 2005.

The boy has been living with his father.

Cooley received the benefits through the food stamp program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.


Justice John Nivison sentenced Cooley to one year in jail, with all but four months suspended and one year of probation along with imposing restitution.

A number of other people were sentenced in separate hearings Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

• Larry E. Bowler, 34, of Monmouth, burglary March 6 in Farmingdale, six month jail sentence, $240 restitution.

• John M. Fessenden, 20, of Farmingdale, possession of sexually explicit material of a minor under 16, June 25, 2012, in Farmingdale; 364 day jail sentence, all but 90 days suspended, one year probation.

• Derek Graves, 23, of Harpswell, theft by deception  May 28, 2012, in Clinton; $1,300 restitution (already paid), $500 fine.

• Berlynn Henderson, 20, of Waterville, burglary July 12, 2011, in Waterville; three year jail sentence, all but 75 days suspended, two years’ probation, $3,353.93 restitution.


• Jessica E. Jones, 28, of Fort Fairfield, unlawful possession of scheduled drug Feb. 6 in Waterville; 364 day jail sentence, all suspended, one year probation, $400 fine.

• Richard S. Knight, 31, of Winslow, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer Jan. 31 in Waterville;

• Tyler L’Italien, 19, of Augusta, burglary June 29, 2012, in Waterville; two year jail sentence, all but 70 days suspended, two years’ probation.

• Andrew Matt, 26, of Freedom, two counts of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, May 4, 2011, and May 11, 2011; three year jail sentence, all but 90 days suspended, two years’ probation, $490 restitution, $800 fines.

• Jessica R. Murray, 22, of Waterville, operating under the influence Feb. 16 in Waterville; $500 fine, 90 day license suspension.

• Craig H. Pollis, 66, of Readfield, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer April 23 in Winthrop; $300 fine.


• Macy L. Real, 22, of Rome, operating under the influence Feb. 15, in Waterville; 48 hour jail sentence, $500 fine, 90 day license suspension.

• Neil A. Robert, 33, of Benton, operating after habitual offender revocation Feb. 15 in Augusta; 30 day jail sentence, $500 fine.

• Eriq Stewart, 18, of Fairfield, assault Feb. 22 in Augusta; 10 day jail sentence, $300 fine, $1,277 restitution.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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