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Nashua woman reaches plea deal in fraud case

NASHUA – Larissa Baker, the Nashua woman accused of bilking medical assistance and food stamp programs of more than $27,000 over the course of a year and a half, has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that will be presented at an early December hearing.

Baker, 35, formerly of 4 Seventh St., has agreed to enter a guilty plea to one Class A felony count of welfare fraud in exchange for a partially-suspended State Prison term, the exact length of which will be determined at the hearing.

She also agrees to make restitution, according to the notice filed several months ago with the court.

The hearing is now scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

It was originally scheduled to take place Monday, but a series of jury selections, unrelated to her case, took nearly the entire day and caused Baker, and at least two other defendants, to continue their hearings.

The Dec. 2 proceeding is a so-called capped-plea agreement, meaning the prosecutor and defense attorney each present their sentencing recommendations to the judge, who then decides on the sentence he or she will impose.

According to the notice, the parties agree the terms of the sentence will not exceed 2-4 years in State Prison, with six months of the minimum suspended for 10 years.

They also agree that Baker pays restitution, but whether she will be ordered to pay the nearly $27,300 she allegedly took from the system, or another amount.

In the indictment, which a grand jury handed up in July 2018, accuses Baker of “intentionally failing to disclose her receipt of wages” from two fast-food restaurant jobs between November 2015 and June 2017.

Her alleged failure to disclose the wages, the indictment states, resulted in Baker receiving the roughly $27,300 in medical assistance and food stamp benefits “to which she was not entitled.”

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.