LEXINGTON, KY - A Lexington woman who admitted lying to authorities in order to fraudulently gain thousands of dollars from state and federal assistance programs was sentenced to 10months in federal prison.
U.S. Senior District Judge Karl S. Forester sentenced 42-year-old Reina M. Rivera for social security fraud. Judge Forester also ordered Rivera to pay full restitution and be remanded into federal custody.
Rivera previously admitted that from September 2003 until December 2011 she made false statements to the Social Security Administration (SSA) on several occasions. As part of her scheme to fraudulently obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits on behalf of her daughter, she told SSA agents that she had separated from her daughter’s father and was no longer sharing living expenses with him. In reality, Rivera lived with her daughter’s father throughout the entirety of the scheme.
Rivera acknowledged that as a result of her false statements, she fraudulently obtained $81,756.52 in SSI and Medicaid benefits.
The Social Security’s SSI program provides financial support to disabled people with limited or no income or resources. Under an agreement between Kentucky and the Social Security Administration, Kentuckians who are eligible for SSI also qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Under federal law, Rivera must serve at least 85 percent of her prison sentence.
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 after the sentencing.
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher L. Nasson.