Flagler Beach Woman Found Guilty of Social Security Fraud
Jacksonville, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury today found Deborah M. Townsend (46, Flagler Beach) guilty of Social Security fraud. Townsend faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. She is also subject to an order of forfeiture for the proceeds of the fraud. Townsend was indicted on August 18, 2011. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 11, 2012.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Townsend was awarded disability benefits in 1995. In January 2003, she began working as a bookkeeper at a small business in Palm Coast. Townsend did not disclose the work, as required by law, to the Social Security Administration. If she had reported the work, her benefits would have ended in February 2004. By concealing her work status, Townsend fraudulently received disability benefits through April 2011, to which she was not entitled. Townsend was overpaid a total of $143,805 in benefits.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville division of the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.