You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Georgia Woman Sentenced for Stealing Disabled Son's Benefits

ATLANTA - Veronical Joyner has been sentenced to two years in prison following her guilty plea for stealing her disabled son's Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).

“Joyner lied to get her disabled son’s Social Security benefits,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn.  “Those benefits were intended to provide much needed care for him.  Instead, Joyner selfishly spent the money on herself.”

“There are few things more egregious than someone that wrongly takes the SSA funds of a disabled child and uses the money for themselves. These investigations demonstrate the seriousness with which Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General (SSA/OIG), responds to allegations of fraud against our agency and its recipients,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Margaret Moore-Jackson, SSA/Office of the Inspector General.  “Though SSA has worked diligently over the years to improve the systems to detect the misuse of benefits, SSA/OIG actively pursues the few determined individuals that continue to manipulate the system. We are pleased with the aggressive action by the US Attorney’s Office that resulted in this sentencing.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: in 2005, the Defendant applied for SSI on her son's behalf.  At that time, she swore to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) that her son lived with her and that she would use the benefits for his care and support.  Because of her false statements, she was appointed to be his representative payee, allowing her to receive SSI payments directly.  Subsequently, Joyner completed annual reporting forms swearing that her son continued to live with her and that she spent all of the money on him.  She often included statements in the reporting forms explaining she was “unable to save” any money for her son because of additional expenses associated with his care.  In fact, her son did not live with her and she did not use the money for his care and support.  Rather, she spent the money on her own personal expenses.  Her fraud continued until March 2014, when the SSA discovered that the child did not, and never had, lived with Joyner.

Veronical Joyner, 43, of Conyers, Georgia, was sentenced to two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, a $100 special assessment, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $66,425.20.  Joyner was convicted on these charges on March 17, 2016, after she pleaded guilty.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration /Office of the Inspector General.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Diane C. Schulman prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated June 7, 2016