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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Galax Woman Sentenced On Social Security Fraud Charges

Tamara Parnell To Spend Four Months In Jail

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A former sponsored residential services provider, who pled guilty in May to charges that she illegally converted Social Security disability benefits for her own use, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

Tamara Rochelle Cox Parnell, 36, Galax, Virginia, waived her right to be indicted on May 13, 2014 and pled guilty to two counts of knowingly and willfully converting to her own use Social Security disability payments to another for which she was representative payee. Yesterday in District Court, Parnell was sentenced to four months imprisonment and three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $34,899 in restitution.

Parnell has admitted that while serving as a sponsored residential services provider for Victim 1, a mentally disabled adult, she willfully and without the knowledge of Victim 1, converted $29,715 of Social Security disability benefits paid to Victim 1 to her own personal use.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Galax Police Department and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Bockhorst prosecuted the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015