MONTGOMERY WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TAKING NEARLY $200,00 IN SSA PAYMENTS OVER 22 YEARS
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Mary Elizabeth Kilpatrick, 57, of Montgomery, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell to theft of government money.
According to evidence presented at the guilty pleas, Kilpatrick spent her mother’s Social Security Administration (SSA) payments for more than 22 years after her mother died. Kilpatrick’s mother died June 5, 1990, and until then, had been receiving widow’s benefits. The money continued to be placed in Kilpatrick and her mother’s joint account, and Kilpatrick continued to spend it. The SSA deposited $176,714 total in widow’s benefits into the joint account. Additionally, the SSA disbursed $15,954 in Medicare premiums after the death, and there was a $250 Economic Recovery Payment paid out to Kilpatrick’s mother in May 2009. The total loss was $192,918.
Kilpatrick faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three years of supervised release. Kilpatrick is scheduled to appear Sept. 27, 2013 for sentencing.
The Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown is prosecuting the case.