OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 4, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KC WOMAN SENTENCED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for Social Security fraud.
Paula Kay Ellis, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays this afternoon to two years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Ellis to pay $48,133 in restitution to the government.
On Oct. 22, 2009, Ellis pleaded guilty to misusing a Social Security number assigned to another person and to theft of government money.
Ellis, using her former last name, “Perez,” signed an application for Social Security disability benefits on April 7, 1997, and began receiving payments. Ellis returned to work from July 2004 to April 2008, but failed to disclose to the Social Security Administration that she was working and therefore no longer entitled to receive benefits. During this time, Ellis fraudulently obtained $48,133 in Social Security disability payments that she was not entitled to receive.
Ellis admitted that she intentionally concealed her work activity from the Social Security Administration by using Social Security account numbers that were assigned to other persons. Ellis told investigators that she purchased at least five, but as many as 20, fraudulent Social Security cards from a friend so that she could continue to work without losing her disability benefits. Ellis used the Social Security numbers of five different persons while working for three different employers and to open a bank account. Ellis also admitted that she made numerous false statements to investigators in an attempt to conceal her theft.
This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.
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