Georgia Woman Pleads Guilty to $195,000 Social Security Theft

Date: 
Monday, June 9, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia:  

ATLANTA - Jennifer Wynn has pleaded guilty to charges that she stole nearly $200,000 from the federal government by illegally receiving and spending her mother-in-law's Social Security benefits for nearly 20 years after her mother-in-law's death. 

“The amount of money Wynn stole and her persistence in stealing for nearly 20 years shows her shameful disregard of the law,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Those who steal from federal entitlement programs are on notice that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  This type of crime harms not only the federal government, but the proper beneficiaries of these programs.”

“Of all the ways in which criminals attempt to steal Social Security benefits, few are as shameless and as certain to be detected as concealing the death of a family member,” said Thomas Caul, Special Agent in Charge, Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.  “I’m grateful to the United States Attorney for her commitment to ensuring that these cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, preserving Social Security funds for those who need and deserve them.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Wynn's mother-in-law died in 1994.  The defendant kept the deceased woman's bank account open, and the benefits, which were intended solely for her mother-in-law, were deposited into the account. Wynn used the money for her own personal expenses. Wynn attempted to conceal her mother-in-law’s death by writing checks to herself each month, and forging her mother-in-law's signature. In total, she received $195,304 in government benefits to which she was not entitled. 

Sentencing for Wynn, 50, of Marietta, Ga., is scheduled for August 13, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. before United States District Judge Orinda D. Evans.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration - Office of the Inspector General.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Diane Claire Schulman prosecuted the case.