Former Federal Contractor Sentenced for Receiving Converted Government Money
BOISE – Susan Mittleider, 55, of Kuna, Idaho, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for unlawfully receiving converted government money, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. announced today. Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale ordered Mittleider to serve one year of probation and pay restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
According to court records, in 2016, Mittleider completed a Social Security application for her half-brother who has been incarcerated at the South Dakota Department of Corrections since 1994, and is ineligible for parole until 2024. The No Social Security Benefits for Prisoners Act, however, generally prohibits the SSA from making social security payments to prisoners.
As a result, SSA incorrectly paid $19,180 in benefits to Mittleider’s half-brother before SSA realized the error. SSA then notified Mittleider and her half-brother via letter that the funds were incorrectly paid and that the funds needed to be returned to SSA. Mittleider and her half-brother, however, never attempted to return the funds or appeal SSA’s decision. Instead, even after receiving the letter, Mittleider directly received a portion of the funds that SSA had incorrectly paid to her half-brother and used the funds for her own benefit.
During the time that Mittleider applied for–and received–SSA benefits for her half-brother, she was employed as a federal contractor. As a result of this incident, her employment as a federal contractor was terminated.
Acting U.S. Attorney Gonzalez credited the cooperative efforts of the Department of Justice–Office of Inspector General and the Social Security Administration–Office of Inspector General, which led to charges.