Lake of the Pines man facing felonies

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A Lake of the Pines man is out on bail after allegedly using his dead girlfriend’s state welfare card for several months. Richard Doyle Lewis, 48, was arrested Monday and is charged with grand theft and welfare fraud, felonies. According to Jim Souza, an investigator with the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, Lewis’ girlfriend, a Nevada County resident, died June 18. “What we have alleged in the report is that he was using his deceased girlfriend’s EBT card, electronic benefit card … and he was using that after her death,” Souza said. “Apparently her death was not reported immediately … to the Department of Social Services to stop those benefits.” Souza said Lewis allegedly used the card, which is an electronic form of food stamps, from the end of June through November. Souza said because an EBT card only allows for food purchases, those are the only things Lewis was allegedly buying. Lewis faced a Nevada County judge Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance the same day. He is scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. Jan. 18 in Nevada City. Souza said there is no evidence to show Lewis was involved in his girlfriend’s death. “It was an illness,” he said. “There was nothing sinister about her death.” ~Bridget Jones