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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lynchburg Woman Sentenced On Theft Of Government Property Charges

Teresa Helms Hid Income From Social Security Administration

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- a 54-year-old Lynchburg woman, who previously pleaded guilty to hiding income from the Social Security Administration, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg.

Teresa Gayle Helms, 54, previously waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government money. Yesterday in District Court, she was sentenced to six months incarceration and six months of home confinement. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $78,696 to the Social Security Administration, $1,124 to Medicaid and $24,759 to Medicare.

“Programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are important safety nets that protect the health and safety of many Americans,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “When criminals like Ms. Helms steal from these programs, this office will bring them to justice.”

Helms previously admitted to stealing more than $104,800 in public money by concealing the fact that she worked as the owner and manager of two Lynchburg-area Adult Erotica stores while receiving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Lynchburg Police Department, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services. Assistant United States Attorney Charlene Day is prosecuting the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015