Florida Resident Convicted in Social Security Theft Scheme

Date: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Thomas Caul, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Inspector General, announce that Diana Cunningham, 56, of Pembroke Pines, pled guilty to two counts of theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. The defendant faces up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution as to each count. The defendant’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 2, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. in front of U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.

According to information presented in court, from approximately May 2003 to August 2013, the defendant falsely represented to the Social Security Administration that she was caring for and providing housing for a disabled child in Florida. The defendant falsified numerous forms and attestations to the SSA regarding the child’s whereabouts and welfare. An investigation by the SSA’s Office of Inspector General revealed that the child was living in Massachusetts and not being cared for by the defendant. Further investigation revealed that the defendant did not provide any financial support for the disabled child. Over the years, the defendant received over approximately $80,000 in payments from the SSA.  

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of SSA’s Office of Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.