Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Florida Woman Pleads Guilty to Social Security and Workers’ Compensation Fraud

March 27, 2019

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

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

Ocala, Florida – Ruth S. Sprake (60, Crystal River) today pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and making false statements to the Social Security Administration (SSA). She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for the theft offense and up to 5 years’ imprisonment for the false statements charge. Sprake was indicted on November 7, 2018. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, Sprake is a former rural route carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Since September 2002, she has been receiving full workers’ compensation disability benefits from the Department of Labor (DOL) for a work-related injury. Each year, since 2013, Sprake was required to submit a report to the DOL detailing her sources of income and any employment activities. However, from 2013-2018, Sprake failed to report her income from her dog-breeding business, as well as her clerical work for a real estate company. As a result, Sprake obtained more than $192,000 in benefit payments to which she was not entitled.

Further investigation revealed that, in December 2015, Sprake also made false written statements to the SSA in which she had underreported her personal and household income in an effort to obtain increased disability benefit payments from that agency.    

This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

Ocala, Florida – Ruth S. Sprake (60, Crystal River) today pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and making false statements to the Social Security Administration (SSA). She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for the theft offense and up to 5 years’ imprisonment for the false statements charge. Sprake was indicted on November 7, 2018. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, Sprake is a former rural route carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Since September 2002, she has been receiving full workers’ compensation disability benefits from the Department of Labor (DOL) for a work-related injury. Each year, since 2013, Sprake was required to submit a report to the DOL detailing her sources of income and any employment activities. However, from 2013-2018, Sprake failed to report her income from her dog-breeding business, as well as her clerical work for a real estate company. As a result, Sprake obtained more than $192,000 in benefit payments to which she was not entitled.

Further investigation revealed that, in December 2015, Sprake also made false written statements to the SSA in which she had underreported her personal and household income in an effort to obtain increased disability benefit payments from that agency.    

This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

Looking for U.S. government information and services?
Visit USA.gov