Dallas Woman Sentenced To 27 Months In Federal Prison For Committing Financial Aid Fraud
Defendant Never Intended To Use Funds For Education
DALLAS — A Dallas woman who was convicted following a bench trial last year on all six counts of an indictment charging financial aid fraud, was sentenced today, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Sussette Sheree Timmons, 42, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to 27 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Education.
“It’s bad enough to lie about your identity or income to obtain financial aid”, said Acting U.S. Attorney Parker, “but Ms. Timmons’ fraud is particularly egregious because she never even intended to attend school. Abuses like this of the federal student aid system must not be tolerated for the sake of the many individuals who truly need aid for education, and for the sake of taxpayers. I commend the investigative efforts of the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General in identifying this fraud.”
The government presented evidence at trial that Timmons applied for admission to, and received financial aid from several universities/colleges, e.g., New Mexico State University, Western New Mexico University, Ashford University, Northern New Mexico College, Coconino Community College, and Pima County Community College, to fund her education at the institutions.
As part of her scheme to defraud these institutions and the U.S. Department of Education, Timmons never intended to use the disbursed funds for education, but instead intended to embezzle, misapply, steal and use the funds for her own personal use. Timmons also failed or refused to refund the financial aid funds when required to do so.
In total, the amount of funds that Timmons embezzled, misapplied, stole or obtained by fraud, false statement or forgery, or failed to refund, was $64,115.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl prosecuted.