Press Release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia, here
ROANOKE, VIRGINIA – The former fire chief in Buchanan, Va., and his wife, were sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke to charges stemming from Fraud.
Billy Joe Carter, 35, and Shana Carter, both of Buchanan, Va., previously waived their rights to be indicted and each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds; conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; conspiracy to willfully make and subscribe a tax return.
Today in District Court Billy Joe Carter was sentenced to 42 months of federal incarceration. Shana Carter was sentenced to three years of probation. The defendants were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $130,665 to the Social Security Administration and $91,828 to Medicare.
Evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day showed that Billy Joe Carter began receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits in February 2004 for a personality disorder and affective mood swings. Subsequently, Billy Joe Carter also began receiving Medicare in connection with his SSA benefits. Shana Carter, his wife, was the representative payee for her husband’s social security disability benefits and Medicare benefits. Both Billy Joe and Shana Carter are responsible for reporting any changes income, medical condition or employment status to SSA and Medicare.
However, evidence presented shows that from 2005-2012, Billy Joe Carter was employed by the owner of Oak Hill Farm in Botetourt County, first as a farm hand and later as a farm manager. Neither Billy Joe Carter nor Shana Carter reported this change in income and employment to SSA or Medicare. As a result, Billy Joe Carter received between $200,000-$400,000 in undeserved benefits from SSA and Medicare.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Social Security Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Botetourt county Sheriff’s Office and the Botetourt County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Charlene R. Day and C. Patrick Hogeboom III prosecuted the case for the United States.