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Florida Woman Pleads Guilty to $239,000 Deceased Payee Fraud

September 16, 2015

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida:

A Florida woman pled guilty today to having stolen Social Security benefits for more than 30 years.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Inspector General, made the announcement.

Claudia Carpenter, 60, of Deerfield Beach, pled guilty to two counts of theft of government funds.  Carpenter is scheduled to be sentenced on November 24, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in Fort Lauderdale.  The defendant faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  The defendant will also be required to pay restitution.

According to information presented in court, the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers numerous programs to provide for the material needs of individuals and their families, including retirement security insurance.   Monthly benefits are paid to eligible retired workers and their eligible dependents.   From approximately October 1984 through March 2015, Carpenter falsely obtained SSA Retirement Security Income (“RSI”) benefits that had been issued to her mother, who died in September 1984. The funds were directly deposited into a joint checking account the defendant shared with her deceased mother.  After her mother’s death, the defendant continued to receive unauthorized SSA benefits, totaling $239,089.  Carpenter withdrew these unauthorized funds by writing checks made payable to “cash” from the account and through cash withdrawals at automatic teller machines.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of SSA’s Office of Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.

A Florida woman pled guilty today to having stolen Social Security benefits for more than 30 years.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Inspector General, made the announcement.

Claudia Carpenter, 60, of Deerfield Beach, pled guilty to two counts of theft of government funds.  Carpenter is scheduled to be sentenced on November 24, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in Fort Lauderdale.  The defendant faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  The defendant will also be required to pay restitution.

According to information presented in court, the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers numerous programs to provide for the material needs of individuals and their families, including retirement security insurance.   Monthly benefits are paid to eligible retired workers and their eligible dependents.   From approximately October 1984 through March 2015, Carpenter falsely obtained SSA Retirement Security Income (“RSI”) benefits that had been issued to her mother, who died in September 1984. The funds were directly deposited into a joint checking account the defendant shared with her deceased mother.  After her mother’s death, the defendant continued to receive unauthorized SSA benefits, totaling $239,089.  Carpenter withdrew these unauthorized funds by writing checks made payable to “cash” from the account and through cash withdrawals at automatic teller machines.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of SSA’s Office of Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.

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