SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Lisa Waldron, age 44, of Palermo, New York, pled guilty today to eleven counts of Theft of Government Property, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Sharon B. MacDermott, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.
The charges to which Waldron pled guilty relate to her theft of Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits intended for her disabled son, Jordan Brooks, while Waldron was acting as Brooks’s representative payee. A representative payee is a person or organization who receives Social Security benefits on another person’s behalf and is required to ensure the benefits are used only to support the beneficiary.
As part of her guilty plea, Waldron admitted that, after Brooks died on May 9, 2021, Waldron continued to receive SSI benefits intended for Brooks. Instead of properly notifying SSA of the issue and knowing she was not entitled to Brooks’s benefit payments, Waldron nonetheless used Brooks’s SSI benefits to pay her own personal expenses until SSA independently learned of the issue and terminated Brooks’s benefits.
Unrelated to the federal charges to which Waldron pled guilty today, Waldron is also facing state murder charges related to her involvement in Brooks’s death.
On the federal charges, Waldron faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised of up to three years. As part of her plea agreement, Waldron has also agreed to pay full restitution. She is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22, 2023, by Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes in Syracuse, New York.A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Tuck.