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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Schenectady Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jody Lyons, age 53, of Schenectady, New York, pled guilty today to stealing the Social Security benefits of her deceased mother for several years after her mother’s death in January 2015.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and John F. Grasso, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.

As part of her guilty plea, Lyons admitted that beginning the month of her mother’s death, she withdrew and spent Social Security benefits that continued to be deposited into her mother’s bank account until August 2018, when the SSA learned of the death and benefit payments ceased.  Lyons also admitted that she withdrew and spent her mother’s Social Security benefits despite knowing what the benefits were, that the benefits were intended for her mother, and that Lyons was not entitled to the money.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 5, 2021 before United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.   Lyons faces up to 10 years in prison, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.  Additionally, Lyons has agreed to pay $95,961.00 in restitution to the SSA.  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 was investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 20, 2020