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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to $23,000 Supplemental Security Income Fraud

July 27, 2015

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Iowa:

A woman who committed Social Security fraud for approximately five years pled guilty today in federal court in Sioux City.

Karlotta Venegas, 44, from Webster City, Iowa, was convicted of one count of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits fraud.

In a plea agreement, Venegas admitted that, between August 2008 and September 2013, she hid the fact that she had been outside the United States for more than 30 days on eight separate occasions from the Social Security Administration in order to continue to receive SSI benefits. Venegas admitted she failed to tell the Social Security Administration about these trips in order to continue to receive them. She would not have been entitled to benefits during the time she was outside the United States if the Social Security Administration knew she was outside the United States for over 30 days at a time. During this period of time, Venegas received over $23,000 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Venegas remains free on conditions of release previously set. Venegas faces a possible maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.

A woman who committed Social Security fraud for approximately five years pled guilty today in federal court in Sioux City.

Karlotta Venegas, 44, from Webster City, Iowa, was convicted of one count of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits fraud.

In a plea agreement, Venegas admitted that, between August 2008 and September 2013, she hid the fact that she had been outside the United States for more than 30 days on eight separate occasions from the Social Security Administration in order to continue to receive SSI benefits. Venegas admitted she failed to tell the Social Security Administration about these trips in order to continue to receive them. She would not have been entitled to benefits during the time she was outside the United States if the Social Security Administration knew she was outside the United States for over 30 days at a time. During this period of time, Venegas received over $23,000 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Venegas remains free on conditions of release previously set. Venegas faces a possible maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.

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