A Ludington woman was ordered to pay more than $17,000 back to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by Judge Susan K. Sniegowski Tuesday.

Juanita Lynn Dunlap, 46, failed to report her husband’s income when she applied for benefits earlier this year.

The judge ordered her to pay the entire amount owed which is $17,590. The sentence was delayed for 11 months which will give Dunlap a chance to fulfill the stipulations ordered for the sentence and to make strides toward paying back the money she owes to the state.

Prosecutor Lauren Kreinbrink said that Dunlap had no prior record and said she felt the plea agreement that had been reached was in the best interest of those involved.

“I think this will give her an incentive to pay the money back,” she added.

Tracie McCarn Dinehart, Dunlap’s attorney, also asked the judge to follow the agreement that had been reached.

“You certainly need to attend mental health counseling,” Judge Sniegowski, told her, “and take advantage of whatever other help they can give you.”

The judge added that she too felt this was the best resolution to help Dunlap and offer her incentives to pay the money back that is owed.

The rest of Dunlap’s sentence included serving two days in jail and being given credit for two days already served. She would be placed on a yet-to-be-determined probationary period. In addition to the restitution, she was ordered to pay $658 in fines, costs and other court fees and a $30 per month monitoring fee for the time that she is on probation.

The Managing Editor for the Ludington Daily News since June 2018 and on the staff since Oct. 2011, taking over for legendary Lloyd Wallace. Previously with The Chippewa Herald in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro.

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