Two Plead Guilty to Federal Wire Fraud Connected to Scheme to Defraud The Department of Veteran Affairs
NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that LINDA REED HILL (“HILL”), age 75, of Slidell, Louisiana, pled guilty today to Theft of Government Funds in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.
Beginning in or about May 1, 2004, and continuing until in or about February 28, 2021, HILL did knowingly embezzle, steal, purloin, and convert to her use, money belonging to the United States and a department and agency thereof, namely the Social Security Administration, to which she knew she was not entitled, when she withdrew funds from a joint JP Morgan Chase account under her own name and Individual “A’s” name.
Prior to April 28, 2004, Individual “A” received SSA Retirement Survivor Insurance disability benefits (“RSI”). After Individual “A’s” death, from approximately May 2004 to February 2021, Individual “A” continued to receive monthly SSA disability benefits in an amount ranging from $1,310.00 - $1,518.00 per month, totaling $319,696.00, which was deposited by SSA into a joint JP Morgan Chase Savings account, shared by HILL and Individual “A.” The monthly SSA funds were then taken from the joint account, transferred to two different accounts listed under HILL’s name, and withdrawn by HILL.
HILL faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.
“Social Security benefits fraud is a criminal offense, which DOJ and my office takes very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans. “For several years, Ms. Hill fraudulently received disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) by claiming monies not designated for her. This plea illustrates that our office will continue to collaborate with SSA Office of the Inspector General and other investigative agencies to identify those who commit SSA fraud for their personal gain.”
”For nearly two decades, Ms. Hill intentionally stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from SSA,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “We will continue to hold those accountable who defraud Social Security programs.”
Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for January 10, 2023, before United States District Judge Greg G. Guidry.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit.