COVINGTON, KY. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Social Security Administration (SSA) jointly announced today that over the past two months, eight people living in Northeast Kentucky have admitted to defrauding the Social Security Administration. The eight individuals defrauded the Social Security Administration out of a combined $517,647.16.
Teresa Anderson, 49, of Mt. Olivet, Ky., is one of the eight individuals who pleaded guilty to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fraud. Anderson admitted that she made false statements on SSI eligibility forms and other documents to receive an increase in SSI payments.
From August of 2004 through April of 2011, Anderson falsely represented to the Social Security Administration that she and her husband were separated and living apart so she could receive an increase in SSI benefits. In reality, she and her husband were living together.
According to court documents, as a result of her false statements, Anderson defrauded SSA out of $48,967.00. Anderson pleaded guilty on December 9.
“We want to serve notice on those who would steal from the people of the United States by committing SSI fraud that this conduct will not be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Kerry B. Harvey. “We intend to protect these resources for those who are truly in need. Our prosecutors will continue to work closely with the Social Security Administration to protect this important program from this sort of criminal conduct.”
Seven other people have also pleaded guilty to SSI fraud since November 14. All eight defendants agreed to pay full restitution for the amount of money they fraudulently received. The other defendants are from Vanceburg, Ky., Grayson, Ky., Louisa, Ky., and Hillsboro, Ky. All eight defendants were indicted in separate cases in October of 2011.
SSI is a program designed to help aged, blind and disabled people who have little or no income. It provides money to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
Special Agent in Charge Guy P. Fallen, Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration stated, “SSA Supplemental Security Income Benefits are a lifeline for many Americans who are unable to work due to a temporary or permanent disability. Our office is gratified by the U.S. Attorney’s shared commitment to preserving Social Security funds for deserving beneficiaries. We have no higher priority than ensuring that those who obtain benefits fraudulently are swiftly detected and prosecuted. Social Security fraud affects all Americans and these indictments and guilty pleas are testament to our serious commitment to pursuing those who victimize Social Security Programs."
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Nasson represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in these cases.
Anderson will appear for sentencing on March 23. Anderson faces a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, any sentence would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.