Four People Indicted for Defrauding Social Security Benefit Programs
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A federal grand jury returned three indictments today charging four individuals with defrauding the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The grand jury returned an indictment charging 47-year-old David Kuenstner and 46-year-old Roxanne Russ with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States, one count of theft of public funds, and three counts of making false statements to the SSA. The indictment alleges that Kuenstner and Russ repeatedly lied to the SSA about the living arrangements of Kuenstner’s son, in order to collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on the son’s behalf. Kuenstner and Russ used the SSI benefits to fund their own lifestyles.
The grand jury also returned an indictment charging 53-year-old Robert Olin with one count of theft of public funds, one count of SSA Fraud, and one count of falsifying and concealing a material fact in connection with a health care benefit program. The indictment alleges that Olin intentionally concealed that he was receiving payments from his deceased mother’s estate in order to continue to receive Supplemental Security Disability Income benefits. As a result of concealing this information, the indictment also alleges, Olin received Kentucky Medicaid benefits to which he was not entitled.
The grand jury returned an indictment charging 35-year-old Tabitha Chapman with one count of theft of public funds and one count of SSA Fraud. The indictment alleges that Chapman lied to the SSA about the custody and support arrangements regarding her minor child, in order to collect SSA Survivor’s Representative Payments on the child’s behalf.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Atlanta Field Division, jointly announced the indictments. The Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation preceding each indictment.
Dates for each of the defendants to appear in court have not yet been set. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison for each of the conspiracy, SSA fraud, and false statement charges, and up to ten years in prison for the theft of public funds. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.
An indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.