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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


SEPTEMBER 30, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS KC WOMAN OF SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD,

THEFT OF HUD, FOOD STAMP BENEFITS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman was convicted in federal court today for Social Security fraud and for receiving housing and food stamp benefits for which she was not eligible.


            Patricia Ann Foreman, 50, of Kansas City, was found guilty on all four counts of a June 24, 2008, federal indictment that charges her with defrauding government benefit programs.


            Foreman fraudulently obtained approximately $42,506 in Supplemental Security Income benefits, Section 8 housing benefits and food stamp benefits that she was not entitled to receive.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated about two and a half hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, ending a trial that began Monday, Sept. 29, 2008.


            Foreman and Ringling Dan Cohn have been living together since 1989 and holding themselves out to the world as husband and wife even though they have not been married in a formal marriage ceremony. Foreman falsely represented to government agencies that she lived alone, and did not report Cohn’s income and other income and assets.


            Foreman paid $35,000 in cash to purchase a new Chrysler 300 in January 2005. She frequented four different Kansas City area casinos between January 2003 and September 2005, with recorded combined gambling winnings of approximately $30,112 and losses of approximately $86,077. Between Dec. 30, 2003, and Jan. 14, 2005, Foreman received and cashed nine checks in various amounts totaling $27,900, including a cash gift of $11,000. Foreman concealed that income and assets while obtaining benefits intended for those who are indigent or have low incomes.


            Foreman was found guilty of one count of Social Security fraud and one count of stealing government money related to approximately $3,093 in Supplemental Security Income benefits that she fraudulently received. Foreman was also found guilty of one count of stealing government money related to approximately $35,654 in low-income housing benefits that she fraudulently received, and one count of stealing government money related to $3,759 in food stamp benefits that she fraudulently received.


            Under federal statutes, Foreman is subject to a sentence of up to 45 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1,250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney John F. Wood and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Porter. It was investigated by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, the Missouri Department of Social Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html