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Press Release

Alexandria woman pleads guilty to stealing more than $77,000 in Social Security benefit payments

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a woman from Alexandria pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $77,000 in Social Security benefit payments from her deceased mother’s bank account.

Sherilyn Ann Dowden, 59, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell to one count of theft of government property.  According to the guilty plea, Dowden stole $77,445 in Social Security benefit payments from July 1, 2009 until March 31, 2015. Dowden wrote checks to herself and family members from an account for her deceased mother that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was depositing money into.  The SSA was unaware of Dowden’s mother’s death in June 2009, and Dowden did not inform SSA of it.

Dowden faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution.  A sentencing date of September 26, 2016 was set.

The SSA Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 21, 2016