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Press Release

Former Social Security Employee Pleads Guilty to $10,000 Fraud Scheme

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former employee of the Social Security Administration pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally accessing personal identification information as part of a nearly $10,000 fraud scheme to steal from the government.

Mary Francis Taylor, 54, of Kansas City, Mo., waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to a federal information that charges her with theft of government money.

Taylor worked as a teleservice technician in the Social Security Administration’s Mid-America Program Service Center in Kansas City, Mo., until she resigned on Jan. 10, 2014. In that role, she had access to sensitive private information for all individuals who possess a Social Security number.

Taylor admitted today that she found a NetSpend debit card on a public bus in August 2013. She took the NetSpend debit card as well as some documents that contained additional personal identification information. Taylor called NetSpend, falsely claiming to be the cardholder (identified as Victim 1), and instructed NetSpend to add another beneficiary to the debit card. Taylor possessed identity information for this new beneficiary, identified as Victim 2, because she found Victim 2’s case file on a co-workers desk.

Taylor illegally accessed the SSA computer system to create an overage to Victim 2’s record, which was direct deposited into the bank account linked to the debit card that was stolen from Victim 1. As a result, SSA direct deposited $9,853 into that bank account.

Taylor used the debit card to pay off her account at Aaron’s and to pay arrearages on her home mortgage, utilities and car loan.

Under federal statutes, Taylor is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Alford III. It was investigated by Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations.
Updated January 15, 2015