Mary Lynn Mills Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena on June 4, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, MARY LYNN MILLS, a 58-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. MILLS was sentenced to a term of:
- Probation: 3 years
- Special Assessment: $100
- Restitution: $9,025
MILLS was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to theft of federal government monies/conversion of social security benefits.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
MILLS' son, J.H., applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in June of 1987, based upon his mental disability. Because J.H. was unable to manage his own money, the Social Security Administration (SSA) selected a representative payee to assist him.
In November 2004, J.H. applied for disability insurance benefits, again based upon his mental disability. SSA approved the application and awarded disability insurance benefits dating back to November of 2003. J.H.'s eligibility for disability insurance benefits decreased his monthly SSI payment, but through May 2008, J.H. continued receiving both monthly payments from SSA.
Between November 3, 2006, and May 2, 2008, SSA paid MILLS (as J.H.'s designee), $9,165, for J.H.'s disability insurance and SSI benefits. MILLS indicated that she'd spent all but $217 of the money she received on behalf of J.H. for his food, housing, and other needs.
J.H.'s father, M.H., was interviewed. M.H. indicated that J.H. had lived with him since 2006. M.H. never received any financial support from MILLS for J.H. M.H. said he had questioned MILLS about her misusing J.H.'s benefits, but MILLS ignored him.
J.H. was interviewed. He remembers MILLS giving him cash on two occasions: $60 in February of 2008, and $80 in April of 2008.
MILLS was re-interviewed and admitted she converted J.H.'s benefits and disability insurance monies for her own use. MILLS admitted she knew she was not entitled to the funds, but stated that she needed the money to survive.
The amount totaled $9,025.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that MILLS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, MILLS does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was conducted by the Inspector General's Office for the Social Security Administration.