News and Press Releases

Seven Indicted For Social Security Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2012

Memphis, Tenn.- United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III, and Guy P. Fallen, Special
Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, announced
today that Christine Crews, 52, of Oakland, TN; John Parker, 75, of Memphis, TN; Peggy
Brewer, 76, of Memphis, TN; Bettye Mems, 63, of Memphis, TN; Lewis Page, 83, of Memphis,
TN; Gwendolyn Conard, 52, of Memphis, TN; and Charles Ellman, 55, of Memphis, TN; have
been charged in an indictment with theft of government funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641;
making false statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001; mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1341; and social security fraud, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1383(a)(3).

More than a year ago, the Social Security Administration (SSA), in partnership with the
Department of Justice, began a fraud prosecution project focusing on federal benefits fraud. The
prosecution project has been a tremendous success and has returned countless dollars to the
Social Security Trust Fund.

The investigation into chose charged in the indictment announced today focused on deceased
individuals whose Social Security Retirement benefits continued after death, because SSA was
not notified of their death. SSA-OIG worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in pursuing
prosecution of the individuals found to have withdrawn this money from the accounts of the
deceased beneficiaries. The investigations revealed in each case where a family member was the
culprit, the funds were withdrawn directly from the deceased’s bank account or the SSA checks
were forged and cashed each month.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to helping maintain the integrity of the Social
Security Program for seniors who have rightfully earned these benefits,” said United States
Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III. “Our office will continue to partner with the Social Security
Administration-Office of Inspector General in identifying and vigorously prosecuting those that
would attempt to defraud the federal government.”

“The Office of the Inspector General will continue to investigate all allegations of fraud and
abuse and assist the United States Attorney’s Office in bringing violators to justice,” said Guy P.
Fallen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General.

The case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector
General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Bailey, Brian
Coleman, and John Fabian on behalf of the government.

# # # #


An indictment is not evidence of guilt. A person is presumed innocent unless and until proven
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

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