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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kansas City, Kan., Woman Pleads GuiltyTo Theft Of Social Security Benefits

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas City, Kan., woman pleaded guilty today to theft of federal program benefits, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Wanda Herdman, 57, pleaded guilty to stealing government money.  She admitted to stealing $43,158 from three needs-based federal programs.  Specifically, the programs she defrauded were: the Supplemental Security Income “SSI” Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (more commonly known as the Food Stamp Program), and the Medicaid Program.

In Herdman’s plea, she admitted that she intentionally did not report her spouse’s income from the Department of Veterans Affairs because she knew her household’s financial resources would preclude her from receiving SSI payments. Between December 2011 and May 2013, she fraudulently obtained $8,584 in SSI payments.

In her plea, she also admitted this was not the first time she was overpaid by the Social Security Administration because of her failure to comply with her reporting obligations. From 1998 to 2006, she received an additional $22,560 in SSI payments she was not entitled to receive.

Due to Herdman’s intentional failure to report her spouse’s income she also received food stamp and Medicaid benefits she was not entitled to receive.  She fraudulently obtained $3,254 in food stamp benefits and $8,760 in Medicaid benefits.

A sentencing will be scheduled after the United States Probation Office completes a presentence investigation. Herdman faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Grissom commended the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, the Legal Services Division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford for their work on the case.