Social Security Administration Employee Sentenced for Theft of Funds
Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MICHAELLE MARTINEZ, age 39, of Marrero, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to theft of government funds.
U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk sentenced MARTINEZ to five years probation and restitution in the amount of $15,104.56.
According to the court documents, MARTINEZ was employed for approximately eight years as a Claims Representative/Social Insurance Specialist in the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) District Office located in Terrytown, Louisiana. MARTINEZ was responsible for the adjudication and authorization of SSA benefits on behalf of the SSA. To accomplish her scheme, MARTINEZ identified beneficiaries who were entitled to receive retroactive or back payments from the SSA. MARTINEZ would change the recipient’s deposit information and would divert the SSA money to bank accounts under her control. MARTINEZ then changed the deposit information back before the beneficiaries would notice a problem. In total, MARTINEZ stole $15,104.56 from several SSA beneficiaries.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, in investigating this matter. Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba is in charge of the prosecution.