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 SSA out of a combined $517,647.16.
One of the eight individuals who pleaded guilty to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fraud is Donna Fannin, 57, of Louisa, Ky. Fannin admitted that for more than a decade she obtained money that she was not entitled to receive from SSA by making false statements on her SSI eligibility applications and on other documents. In order to fraudulently obtain more money from SSI, Fannin consistently stated that she had separated from her husband when in fact they lived together.
Fannin defrauded the SSA out of $80,955.00 from January 1995 through January 2011. She pleaded guilty to the charges on November 14, 2011.
“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 Kerr 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 recently pleaded guilty to SSI fraud. All eight defendants agreed to pay full restitution for the amount of money they fraudulently received. The other defendants are from Mt. Olivet, Ky., Vanceburg, Ky., Hillsboro, Ky., and Grayson, Ky. All eight individuals 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 for the 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, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher L. Nasson represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case.
Fannin will appear for sentencing on February 13. If convicted, she faces a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.