From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana:
LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Lake Charles woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing more than $71,000 of her deceased father’s Social Security benefits.
Heather Vincent, 43, of Lake Charles, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of theft of government funds. According to the guilty plea, Vincent’s father died on February 1, 2014. From that time until February 28, 2017, Vincent did not notify Social Security that her father was deceased, and she received and spent $71,463 in benefits as they were deposited into his bank account.
Vincent faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set an April 17, 2018 sentencing date.
The Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Forrest Phillips is prosecuting the case.