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New York Woman Indicted for Deceased Payee Fraud

January 29, 2016

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

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

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Karen L. Sowman, age 55, of Preston Hollow, New York, was arraigned today on an indictment accusing her of stealing $69,000 in benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Edward J. Ryan, Special Agent-In-Charge of the SSA Office of the Inspector General.

Sowman is charged with theft of government property.  The indictment alleges that Sowman took and spent Social Security benefit payments deposited into her deceased mother’s bank account knowing that the money was not hers.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Sowman faces up to 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if convicted.  Actual sentences are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a judge based on U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Sowman, who was indicted on January 20, 2016, was arraigned today before Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart.  She was released on her own recognizance pending a trial scheduled for March 28, 2016 before U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.

This case is being investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason W. White.

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Karen L. Sowman, age 55, of Preston Hollow, New York, was arraigned today on an indictment accusing her of stealing $69,000 in benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Edward J. Ryan, Special Agent-In-Charge of the SSA Office of the Inspector General.

Sowman is charged with theft of government property.  The indictment alleges that Sowman took and spent Social Security benefit payments deposited into her deceased mother’s bank account knowing that the money was not hers.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Sowman faces up to 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if convicted.  Actual sentences are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a judge based on U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Sowman, who was indicted on January 20, 2016, was arraigned today before Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart.  She was released on her own recognizance pending a trial scheduled for March 28, 2016 before U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.

This case is being investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason W. White.

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