Milwaukee Woman Pleads Guilty to Converting Supplemental Security Income Payments Intended for the Use and Benefit of Others
Today, Gregory J. Haanstad, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Theresa Anthony (age 38) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, entered a plea of guilty in federal court. Anthony pleaded guilty to a one-count indictment that charged her with converting Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) payments to a use other than for the use of the intended beneficiaries, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(5). The offense has maximum penalties of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ of supervised release. Anthony will be sentenced before the Honorable Lynn S. Adelman on August 5, 2016.
SSI benefits are payable under Title XVI of the Social Security Act for aged, blind, and disabled persons with little or no income or resources. A “representative payee” is an individual or organization appointed by the Social Security Administration to receive and manage the SSI benefits of another person.
The indictment against Anthony charged that she acted through an entity known as City Transformation, Ltd., which successfully applied to serve as representative payee to receive and manage SSI benefit payments on behalf of numerous disabled or otherwise-qualified beneficiaries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In her role as Executive Director of City Transformation, Ltd., Anthony converted SSI payments received by City Transformation, Ltd. and intended for the use and benefit of others to her own use and that of City Transformation, Ltd.
Specifically, as part of her plea, Anthony has admitted that on or about March 18, 2011, she diverted SSI payments from a collective representative payee account maintained by City Transformation, Ltd. to a general business account maintained by City Transformation, Ltd., and then withdrew approximately $22,364.93 from that general account so that City Transformation, Ltd. could purchase Milwaukee real estate from the defendant.
Anthony has also admitted that the March 18, 2011 transactions were part of an ongoing course of conduct involving the misuse of SSI funds. As part of her plea, she has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of approximately $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan H. Koenig.
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