COVINGTON, KY - A Brooksville, KY., woman was sentenced today for stealing nearly $150,000 from the Social Security Administration (SSA),
U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced 33-year-old Stacy Teegarden to six months in prison for fraudulently obtaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. She was ordered to pay $113,163.53 in restitution and a special assessment of $100.
For a nine year period, Teegarden repeatedly made false representations to SSA that she and her children's father were separated and living apart; in reality, they were living together. As a result of these false representations, Teegarden received $146,123.38 in over-payments from the SSA from October 2002 through July 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.
"Defrauding the public is unacceptable and this sort of criminal conduct will not be tolerated," said U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey." Those engaged in this activity run a real risk of punishment that includes prison time. The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Social Security Administration will continue to work together to protect the taxpayers from people like Ms. Teegarden who seek to cheat federal programs."
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Guy P. Fallen, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, jointly made the announcement today.
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Nasson represented the U.S. Attorney's Office in this case.
"SSA Supplemental Security Income Benefits are a lifeline for many Americans who are unable to work due to a temporary or permanent disability," said Special Agent in Charge Fallen." "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 this conviction is a testament to our serious commitment to pursuing those who victimize Social Security Programs.
Teegarden will have to serve at least 85 percent of her prison sentence.