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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 21, 2019

St. Peters Woman Pleads Guilty to $231,000 Fraud Scheme

Received Disability Payments for Her Mother, Who Died Nearly 50 Years Ago

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A St. Peters, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to a fraud scheme in which she received more than $231,000 in disability payments intended for her mother, who died nearly 50 years ago.

Marsha Gail Coy, 68, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr., to a federal information that charges her with one count of bank fraud.

Coy’s mother was an employee of the Kirkwood, Mo., R-VII School District until she retired with the Public School Retirement Systems of Missouri (PSRS) in 1968. PSRS is a non-Social Security contributory system that provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Although Coy’s mother died on Sept. 23, 1969, PSRS unwittingly continued to make disability benefit payments into her bank accounts. PSRS made 584 disability benefit payments totaling $382,933 before learning on May 1, 2018, that she had died. Coy’s father was placed in a long-term care facility in April 1996 and resided there until the last few days prior to his death in 1999.

By pleading guilty today, Coy admitted that she engaged in a fraud scheme from April 1996 to May 1, 2018, to steal from PSRS by obtaining benefits to which she was not entitled, and to use the money for her own benefit. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Coy must forfeit to the government $231,148, which is the amount of disability benefits paid by PSRS after April 1, 1996.

Under federal statutes, Coy is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the FBI.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated February 21, 2019