COVINGTON, KY - A Brooksville, KY., woman admitted in federal court she concealed information from federal authorities, for several years, in order to fraudulently obtain state and federal benefits.
Patty Jo Ruf, 42, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fraud.
Ruf admitted she intentionally concealed her true living arrangement from agents with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to collect SSI and Medicaid benefits, on behalf of her children, in amounts greater than she was entitled to receive.
According to the plea agreement, Ruf repeatedly told agents she had separated from her husband and was not sharing living expenses. In reality, Ruf lived with her husband and received financial support from him. Had SSA agents been aware of the true living arrangement, the eligibility of Ruf’s children would have been greatly reduced. The fraud spanned from November 1999 until December 2010.
SSI is an income assistance program designed to provide financial assistance to elderly and disabled individuals who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Kentuckians who are eligible for SSI also qualify for benefits under the Medicaid Program.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Guy P. Fallen, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, jointly announced the guilty plea.
The investigation was conducted by the SSA, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Nasson represents the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case.
Sentencing for the defendant is scheduled for September 19, 2013. Supplemental Security Income fraud carries a maximum of five years in prison. However, the court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes before imposing a sentence.