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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ridgely Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $173,000 in Social Security and Medicaid Benefits

Baltimore, Maryland – Debra Kay Schindler, age 59, of Ridgely, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to theft of government property arising from a scheme to steal $173,529 in social security and Medicaid benefits.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division.

According to her guilty plea, from June 2003 to July 2013, Schindler received Social Security Administration (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits due to back disorders and diabetes.  Schindler reported to SSA that she was married to E.S. but was living alone and had no income or resources.  In fact, however, during the entire period that she received SSA and Medicaid benefits, Schindler was living with her husband who worked at Giant Food.  Schindler shared a bank account with her husband, and was the co-beneficiary of her husband’s pension.  Had SSA been aware of Schindler’s income, resources or living arrangements, Schindler would not have qualified for any benefits.

Schindler fraudulently received a total of $173,529.81 in SSI and Medicaid benefits.

Schindler faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for theft of government property. Schindler has agreed to pay restitution of $173,529.81.  U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for April 27, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General for its work in the investigation and thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Perry, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 4, 2016