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Justice News

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Former SSA Employee Sentenced To 21 Months In Federal Prison For Role In Conspiracy To Defraud The SSA

DALLAS — A former employee of the Social Security Administration (SSA) was sentenced this morning for his role in a conspiracy to defraud the SSA, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Carwin Shaw, 33, of Arlington, Texas, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $78,165 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in December 2014 to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds. He must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on April 28, 2015.

Shaw, along with co-defendants Amanda Johnson, 35, April Harvey, 36, and Lanusha Lemmons, 25, all of Arlington, were each indicted in May 2014 on one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and one count of theft of government funds. Lemmons pleaded guilty to her role and was sentenced earlier this month to a two-year term of probation. A trial date of April 27, 2015, is set for defendants Johnson and Harvey.

According to documents filed in the case, Shaw, who worked as a Service Representative in the SSA’s Mid-Cities Field Office, located in Grand Prairie, Texas, had access to the SSA’s electronic databases. He admitted that he made agreements with co-conspirators to illegally obtain SSA funds by manipulating SSA’s electronic databases to achieve multiple objectives.

In some instances, for example, he manipulated the verified income attributed to Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries that resulted in the issuance of larger payments than authorized, the issuance of payments when none were due, and the removal of legitimate overpayments posted to beneficiary’s record. Shaw further admitted using the SSA’s electronic systems that interface with the U.S. Treasury Department to issue duplicate checks to beneficiaries when only one check was due. Shaw would cut additional checks to the co-conspirators by alleging their initial check had been lost or stolen, split the second check with the co-conspirator and then access the system and waive the overpayment so that it would not be recovered from any future benefits. Each co-conspirator was the representative payee for one minor or otherwise incompetent Social Security beneficiary.

The loss to the SSA as a result of all of Shaw’s relevant conduct is approximately $78,165.

The case was investigated by the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana.

Updated June 22, 2015