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Press Release

Somerset County Woman Stole $164K in Social Security Payments Meant for Her Dead Mother-in-Law

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

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Meyersdale, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of theft of government funds, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Donalee Harvey, 72, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from Dec. 3, 1997, to March 2, 2018, Harvey did receive and convert falsely to her own use a total of $164,862, which represents approximately 236 separate Social Security Administration benefit payments made to another person to which she was not entitled. That person was her mother-in-law, V.H., who died in 1985.

Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Feb. 27, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold P. Bernard, Jr. is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Harvey.

Updated October 22, 2019

Financial Fraud