Idaho Woman Pleads Guilty to Representative Payee Fraud

Date: 
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Office Affiliation: 

POCATELLO – Leslie A. Briggs, 36, of Chubbuck, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to theft of government property, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to the plea agreement, Briggs was employed as assistant to the manager of the Aid for Friends Representative Payee Program, in which the Social Security Administration sends payments for beneficiaries to Aid for Friends. Aid for Friends then administers the funds and pays for the beneficiary’s personal expenses. According to the plea agreement, Briggs had signing authority on the Aid for Friends Social Security Administration trust account at Wells Fargo Bank, where all beneficiaries’ Social Security funds are deposited. Briggs admitted that from November 2008 to December 2010, she wrote checks on the trust account, without authorization, for personal expenses, including credit card bills, insurance and a home loan. Briggs agreed to pay full restitution of $103,511.76.

The charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

Sentencing is set for June 18, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General-Office of Investigations and the Pocatello Police Department.