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Press Release

Andes Woman Sentenced for Defrauding Social Security Administration

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK – Deborah E. Wagner, aka Deborah E. Cottrell, age 66, of Andes, New York, was sentenced today to serve 2 years of probation and pay $64,196 in restitution for defrauding the Social Security Administration (SSA) and receiving benefits to which she was not entitled.


The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and John F. Grasso, Special Agent in Charge of the SSA Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.


As part of her August 9, 2016 guilty plea, Wagner admitted that she provided false information to the SSA so that she could continue to receive the Survivors Insurance benefits she collected from 2006 through 2014, purportedly as a widow. In 2014, Wagner told the SSA that she was not married when, in fact, she had been remarried in 2006, a fact that would have made her ineligible to receive benefits.


Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also ordered Wagner to serve 50 hours of community service.


This case was investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason W. White.

Updated February 23, 2017