News and Press Releases

Houston Woman Convicted of Using Brother’s Social Security Number to Cash Deceased Woman’s Benefit Checks

Nov. 13, 2013

HOUSTON – Doris Hayes, 36, of Houston, has entered a guilty plea to two counts of making false statements involving a Social Security number, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Hayes admitted she opened bank accounts at International Bank of Commerce and University Federal Credit Union using false Social Security numbers, including that of her brother, in order to facilitate a check cashing scheme.  

A previous related indictment charged Sandra Carrier, 57, of Houston, with taking part in the scheme in which she caused her deceased mother’s treasury checks from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration to be cashed after her mother had passed away. Some of those checks were cashed using the same bank accounts Hayes had opened with false Social Security numbers. Carrier and Hayes continued to negotiate the checks up to eight years after Carrier’s mother’s death.

The United States suffered $177,642 in damages as a result of the scheme.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who accepted the guilty plea today, has set sentencing for Feb. 13, 2014, at 9:45 a.m., at which time Hayes faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.  

Carrier has already pleaded guilty to related charges and received a sentence of 12 months and one day in prison. 

This case is the result of a joint investigation involving multiple federal agencies including the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Leuchtmann is prosecuting this case.

 

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