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Thirteen Individuals Charged With Social Security Fraud In Operation Dead Ringer

November 03, 2020

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

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

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the filing of federal charges against 13 individuals in Operation Dead Ringer. The individuals are charged in 12 separate cases, with cumulatively stealing more than one million dollars in benefits paid by the Social Security Administration on behalf of beneficiaries who were deceased. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment on each count.        

Operation Dead Ringer, initiated in the Middle District of Florida, aggressively targets individuals who steal Social Security benefits inadvertently paid to deceased beneficiaries. To date, 35 individuals have been charged as part of the Operation.

According to the respective indictments:

Lauren McKay (28, Jacksonville) and Leah McKay (31, Jacksonville) are charged with theft of government funds. From July 2011 to June 2017, the McKays fraudulently collected approximately $96,055 of their mother’s Social Security benefits following her death on July 12, 2011.

Donna Sharpe Crowther (63, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From January 2009 to May 2019, Crowther fraudulently collected approximately $223,869 of her husband’s Social Security benefits following his death on December 15, 2008.

Robin Elmore (44, St. Augustine) is charged with theft of government funds. From April 2012 to June 2019, Elmore fraudulently collected approximately $63,492 of her sister’s Social Security benefits following her sister’s death on March 20, 2012.

Pamela LaTrail Toliver (62, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From July 2016 to June 2020, Toliver fraudulently collected approximately $52,224 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following the mother’s death on July 27, 2016.

Virginia Gay (48, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From February 2015 to September 2019, Gay fraudulently collected approximately $99,840 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following the mother’s death on May 29, 2013.

Margie Ann Norris-Bell (62, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From June 2015 to July 2019, Norris-Bell fraudulently collected approximately $66,185 of her sister’s Social Security benefits following the sister’s death on July 26, 2011.

Humeshia Latasha Butler (42, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From February 2015 to December 2017, Butler fraudulently collected approximately $35,774 of a close friend’s Social Security benefits following his death on November 12, 2013.

Robert Bruce Barnes (63, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From June 2015 to April 2019, Barnes fraudulently collected approximately $86,581 of his wife’s Social Security benefits following her death on November 7, 2011.

Linda Becraft (65, Naples) is charged with theft of government funds. From May 2013 to April 2019, Becraft fraudulently collected approximately $152,374 in Social Security benefits following the death of a Social Security beneficiary in April 2013.

Ciera McClain (30, Alabama) is charged with theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. From October 2015 to January 2019, McClain fraudulently collected approximately $30,670 in Social Security benefits following the death of a Social Security beneficiary on August 29, 2015.

Jacqueline Eugene (46, Orlando) is charged with theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. From March 2014 to February 2019, Eugene fraudulently collected approximately $51,360 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following her mother’s death on February 17, 2014.

Keana Everett (35, Tampa) is charged with theft of government funds. From April 2012 to March 2019, Everett fraudulently collected approximately $63,382 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following her mother’s death on April 10, 2012.

 An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

These cases are being investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from other federal and local law enforcement agencies. Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Huyler is coordinating the Operation. She, along with Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Frein, David Mesrobian, and Yolande Viacava, will be prosecuting the cases.

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the filing of federal charges against 13 individuals in Operation Dead Ringer. The individuals are charged in 12 separate cases, with cumulatively stealing more than one million dollars in benefits paid by the Social Security Administration on behalf of beneficiaries who were deceased. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment on each count.        

Operation Dead Ringer, initiated in the Middle District of Florida, aggressively targets individuals who steal Social Security benefits inadvertently paid to deceased beneficiaries. To date, 35 individuals have been charged as part of the Operation.

According to the respective indictments:

Lauren McKay (28, Jacksonville) and Leah McKay (31, Jacksonville) are charged with theft of government funds. From July 2011 to June 2017, the McKays fraudulently collected approximately $96,055 of their mother’s Social Security benefits following her death on July 12, 2011.

Donna Sharpe Crowther (63, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From January 2009 to May 2019, Crowther fraudulently collected approximately $223,869 of her husband’s Social Security benefits following his death on December 15, 2008.

Robin Elmore (44, St. Augustine) is charged with theft of government funds. From April 2012 to June 2019, Elmore fraudulently collected approximately $63,492 of her sister’s Social Security benefits following her sister’s death on March 20, 2012.

Pamela LaTrail Toliver (62, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From July 2016 to June 2020, Toliver fraudulently collected approximately $52,224 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following the mother’s death on July 27, 2016.

Virginia Gay (48, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From February 2015 to September 2019, Gay fraudulently collected approximately $99,840 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following the mother’s death on May 29, 2013.

Margie Ann Norris-Bell (62, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From June 2015 to July 2019, Norris-Bell fraudulently collected approximately $66,185 of her sister’s Social Security benefits following the sister’s death on July 26, 2011.

Humeshia Latasha Butler (42, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From February 2015 to December 2017, Butler fraudulently collected approximately $35,774 of a close friend’s Social Security benefits following his death on November 12, 2013.

Robert Bruce Barnes (63, Jacksonville) is charged with theft of government funds. From June 2015 to April 2019, Barnes fraudulently collected approximately $86,581 of his wife’s Social Security benefits following her death on November 7, 2011.

Linda Becraft (65, Naples) is charged with theft of government funds. From May 2013 to April 2019, Becraft fraudulently collected approximately $152,374 in Social Security benefits following the death of a Social Security beneficiary in April 2013.

Ciera McClain (30, Alabama) is charged with theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. From October 2015 to January 2019, McClain fraudulently collected approximately $30,670 in Social Security benefits following the death of a Social Security beneficiary on August 29, 2015.

Jacqueline Eugene (46, Orlando) is charged with theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. From March 2014 to February 2019, Eugene fraudulently collected approximately $51,360 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following her mother’s death on February 17, 2014.

Keana Everett (35, Tampa) is charged with theft of government funds. From April 2012 to March 2019, Everett fraudulently collected approximately $63,382 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following her mother’s death on April 10, 2012.

 An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

These cases are being investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from other federal and local law enforcement agencies. Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Huyler is coordinating the Operation. She, along with Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Frein, David Mesrobian, and Yolande Viacava, will be prosecuting the cases.

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