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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

Friday, March 4, 2016

Gainesville Woman Sentenced to Two Years for Social Security Fraud

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Debra A. Scott, 57, of Gainesville, was sentenced today to two years in prison and ordered to pay $179,979 in restitution for theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

During her guilty plea on September 2, 2015, Scott admitted that, after her mother’s death in January 1997, she continued to receive her mother’s Social Security Administration benefits checks at the home they shared.  Scott forged her mother’s signature on the checks and deposited them into her own account.  Between January 1997 and March 2014, Scott negotiated more than 200 stolen Social Security checks, totaling approximately $179,979.

This case resulted from investigations by the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Herbert S. Lindsey.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
(850) 216-3854,

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated March 7, 2016