Pittsburgh Woman Charged with Converting Social Security Benefits to Her Own Use

Date: 
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Office Affiliation: 

A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of theft of government property, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The one-count indictment named Laverne Russell, 72, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, Russell converted to her own use over $1,000.00 in Social Security Income Benefits from the Social Security Administration.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.