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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monroe Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing more than $200,000 in Social Security Payments

MONROE, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a Monroe woman pleaded guilty to stealing more than $200,000 in Social Security benefit payments.

Cassandra D. Ellis, 53, of Monroe, entered a conditional guilty plea for one count of theft of government funds to U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. James. According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, from February 1996 to April 2014, Ellis deposited and used her deceased grandmother’s Social Security benefit checks, to which she was not entitled. She also led Social Security officials to believe her grandmother was alive in order to continue receiving the checks. The total amount taken was $206,325.

Ellis faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution. A sentencing date of May 4, 2015 was set.

The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 3, 2015