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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Broward County Resident Convicted in Social Security Theft Scheme

A Deerfield Beach resident pled guilty today to having stolen Social Security benefits for more than thirty years.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Inspector General, made the announcement.

Claudia Carpenter, 60, of Deerfield Beach, pled guilty to two counts of theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.  Carpenter is scheduled to be sentenced on November 24, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in Fort Lauderdale.  The defendant faces up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  The defendant will also be required to pay restitution.

According to information presented in court, the Social Security Administration administers numerous programs to provide for the material needs of individuals and their families, including retirement security insurance.   Monthly benefits are paid to eligible retired workers and their eligible dependents.   From approximately October 1984 through March 2015, Carpenter falsely obtained Social Security Administration Retirement Security Income (“RSI”) benefits that had been issued to her mother, who died in September 1984.  The funds were directly deposited into a joint checking account the defendant shared with her deceased mother.  After her mother’s death, the defendant continued to receive unauthorized SSA benefits, totaling $239,089.  Carpenter withdrew these unauthorized funds by writing checks made payable to “cash” from the account and through cash withdrawals at automatic teller machines.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of SSA’s Office of Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated February 4, 2016