A Duson woman was sentenced this week to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for mail fraud.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Hazel A. Broussard, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik, who also ordered the defendant to pay over $269,000 in restitution.
Broussard entered a plea of guilty on July 18 to one count of mail fraud.
According to documents filed with the court, Broussard received Social Security benefits over a 27-year period to which she was not entitled. The SSA benefits were intended for her uncle, whom she lived with in Lafayette during the last few weeks of his life. After her uncle’s death, Broussard failed to inform the SSA, causing the SSA to keep sending the checks. As a result of her scheme, Broussard fraudulently obtained $269,282 from the SSA.
“Abuse of Social Security disability benefits hurts those who are truly in need of assistance because they are injured or are no longer able to work,” Finley said. “This type of fraud is unacceptable, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with the Office of Inspector General, is committed to aggressively pursuing criminals who steal from the Social Security Administration.”
The case was investigated by Special Agent Dirk Bergeron of the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration, Baton Rouge Resident Agency, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Mickel.