Florida Woman Found Guilty of Social Security Fraud

Friday, March 9, 2012
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A federal jury found a Flagler Beach woman guilty of Social Security fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Deborah Townsend, 46, faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison after authorities say she received illegal disability benefits for more than eight years. She also is under an order to forfeit the proceeds of the fraud, authorities said.

Townsend is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

Prosecutors say Townsend was awarded disability benefits in 1995 but began working as a bookkeeper at a small Palm Coast business in January 2003.

Townsend did not disclose her work status to the Social Security Administration and fraudulently received disability benefits through April 2011 and as a result was overpaid $143,805 in benefits, authorities said.

Had she reported the work, her benefits would have ended in February 2004.