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Justice News

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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Elizabeth Medicine Top Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on February 6, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ELIZABETH MEDICINE TOP, a 47-year-old resident of Lame Deer, appeared for sentencing. MEDICINE TOP was sentenced to a term of:

Probation: 3 years

Special Assessment: $100

Restitution: $5,144

MEDICINE TOP was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to theft of government money.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad C. Spraker, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On November 15, 2007, at the Social Security Administration office in Billings, MEDICINE TOP applied for Old Age, Survivor, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) auxiliary benefits for two of her children, JTF and CMT. MEDICINE TOP also applied to be a representative payee for JTF and CMT. MEDICINE TOP represented on the applications that both JTF and CMT lived with her.

In truth MEDICINE TOP had not lived with either JTF or CMT since June 2007, when MEDICINE TOP left the two children with her oldest daughter, JL, in Utah. JTF and CMT continued to live with JL and other family members until February 2008, when MEDICINE TOP retrieved JTF and CMT and moved them to MEDICINE TOP's home in Montana.

MEDICINE TOP lived with JTF and CMT until January 17, 2009, when the children went to live with MEDICINE TOP's nephew, JFH. JTF and CMT continued to live with JFH and his wife until at least May 2009.

On January 11, 2011, MEDICINE TOP was interviewed and acknowledged that she applied for OASDI benefits for JTF and CMT. MEDICINE TOP acknowledged that she knew she should have reported that JTF and CMT were not in her custody from October 2007 to January 2008, as she was receiving their benefits while the two girls were not in her care and custody. MEDICINE TOP also admitted that in January 2009, that JTF and CMT went to live with JFH, but MEDICINE TOP nevertheless continued to collect benefits on the children's behalf.

The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General.

Updated January 14, 2015