Woman Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Fraudulent Receipt of $115,000 in Federal Benefits

Date: 
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Office Affiliation: 

A Great Falls woman was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 27 months in prison for fraud resulting in her receiving more than $115,000 in federal benefits.

Shannon Lee Pitzer received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Section 8 Housing Assistance, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income benefits. She has been on public assistance almost continuously since at least 1994, according to Amy Hill, a program integrity specialist with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, who testified at Thursday's sentencing hearing, a U.S. Attorney's Office news release states. Hill said department records only go back to 1994, when the system was computerized.

In her 2008 application for SSI benefits, Pitzer indicated that her husband, John Pitzer, did not reside with her. Her eligibility was based on her disabilities, including chronic pain, back problems, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and other limitations; household composition (herself and a dependent) and income consisting only of other public assistance.

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