Gorham residents suspected of EBT fraud

Gorham police arrested a woman and a man last week at 19 Woodland Road on charges that included misuse of EBT cards.

The two, identified as Donna Fernandes, 52, and Jeremy Seeley, 31, were arrested at the same address where Seeley and two other suspects were arrested last month in connection with sex trafficking.

Gorham police Detective Sgt. Dana Thompson on Monday reported that Fernandes was arrested on April 25 on charges of misuse of public benefit instruments and theft by deception. According to the report, Fernandes is on probation for aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and was taken to Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

“At the time of her arrest, police confiscated three EBT cards belonging to Tamika Dias, Klein Fernandes and another suspect to be named later,” a police report said.

Dias, 34, and Klein Fernandes, 27, are being held in Cumberland County Jail after being arrested last month in a sex trafficking case along with Jeremy Seeley, 31. The three lived at 19 Woodland Road.

Seeley was arrested again on April 26 on charges of misuse of public benefit instruments, theft by deception and violating conditions of release. Seeley was booked at Cumberland County Jail.

Seeley had been released on bail after being charged in March with two counts of sex trafficking in a case with Klein Fernandes and Dias, all of 19 Woodland Road in Gorham.

Thompson said Klein Fernandes, 27, has been jailed since March 14 on charges of aggravated sex trafficking, an outstanding warrant, and a state probation violation. Police said there are no authorized users for his EBT card but transactions were made on his account while he has been incarcerated, police alleged.

Dias has been jailed since March 17 after being arrested on a warrant charging aggravated sex trafficking and no one was authorized to use her EBT while jailed, police said, but transactions were also made on her account.

Police presented the cases involving Donna Fernandes and Seeley to the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office on Monday.

Donna Fernandes faces charges of two counts of misuse of public benefits instruments and one count of theft by deception.

Seeley has been charged with three counts of misuse of public benefits instrument, one count of theft by deception and one count of violating conditions of release.

Police said Donna Fernandes and Seeley were using multiple EBT cards to make purchases in Gorham, Westbrook and Portland.

Gorham Police Department is probing the EBT case with the Department of Health and Human Services Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit.

The investigation continues and Thompson expects to file additional charges.

Donna FernandesJeremy Seeley

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