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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Oct. 24, 2011                   


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Verda Peters, 33, of Laredo, Texas (formerly of Charleston, W.Va.) pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston to providing a false statement to the Social Security Administration.  Peters admitted that she was receiving Children’s Insurance Benefits on behalf of a minor child.  In May 2008, the minor child was removed from the defendant’s custody.  Notwithstanding the removal, the defendant claimed the child was still residing in her home when she filled out a statement to Social Security in order to continue receiving benefits.  This false statement resulted in the defendant receiving $17, 492 in government benefits that she was not entitled to receive from 2008 until 2010.

Peters faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on January 30, 2012.  The defendant also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of 17,492.   

The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorney Erik Goes is handling the prosecution. 

This case was prosecuted as part of the U.S. Attorney's Initiative to Combat Theft of Government Benefits launched in June 2008.  The Initiative is designed to protect public funds and to prosecute those who steal benefits from public programs or agencies such as the Railroad Retirement Board, US Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration, and the Department of Labor.       

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