Kentucky Woman Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Deceased Payee Fraud

Date: 
Monday, March 6, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky:

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville woman was sentenced today in United States District Court by Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., to serve 15 months in prison and pay $194,787.92 in restitution for committing several offenses involving the fraudulent receipt of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA), for an 11-year period, for which she was not qualified, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

 

Janice M. Arnow, age 69, admitted that she failed to disclose the death of her husband and continued to receive and spend OASDI payments made by the SSA between October 2003 and October 2014. Further, Arnow admitted to theft of government property. Arnow embezzled, stole, and purloined money of SSA, a department and agency of the United States, namely, OASDI payments made to her deceased husband, to which she knew she was not entitled. Arnow did not apply for survivor benefits, and would not have qualified.

 

Also, on or about July 17, 2012, Arnow admitted to making her own false Social Security Application. Arnow willfully and knowingly made a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement, by submitting an application for her own OASDI payments to the SSA. In doing so, Arnow falsely omitted the identity of her late husband (Paul Adams), the receipt of income from her late husband’s OASDI payments, the date of his death, and falsely indicated that she had no other marriages than to M.H.

 

According to information presented in court, when Arnow was questioned by agents with SSA at her Louisville home, Arnow reportedly stated that she thought she could spend the money because she was his widow, offered to pay the money back, could not remember to whom she had mailed her late husband’s death certificate, and that she had used the money for social work in Rwanda and the Congo. Information presented in Court showed Arnow used the money for living expenses and did not qualify for widower’s benefits because she earned too much additional income.

 

In a separate case, on November 19, 2012, Arnow pleaded guilty in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jefferson County, to wanton exploitation of an adult over $300, theft of identity, fraudulent use of a credit card over $500, and theft by unlawful taking of over $500. The court sentenced Arnow to four years on each count. Arnow entered into a five-year diversion. The Commonwealth moved to revoke that diversion based on the federal charges.

 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd, and results from an investigation conducted by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.