From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina:
Florence, South Carolina --- Acting United States Attorney A. Lance Crick announced today that Kianna Parrot, 31, of Florence, was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to accessing a protected computer for purposes of stealing benefits from disabled social security beneficiaries.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing showed that from September 27, 2017, to June 29, 2018, Parrot – who then worked as a claims specialist for the Social Security Administration in Florence – used her government computer to defraud beneficiaries out of their Supplemental Security Insurance payments. The SSI program protects the most vulnerable members of society by paying benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.
Officials with the Social Security Administration first noticed suspicious deposits to Parrot’s personal accounts from SSI accounts. The ensuing investigation revealed that Parrot diverted SSI underpayments intended for legitimate beneficiaries to her own account. She accomplished this theft by using her Social Security Administration computer and personal identifying number to access the social security records of individuals owed SSI underpayments. Once she accessed these records, she would initiate a payment transaction which listed the names and social security numbers of the true beneficiaries, but which listed Parrot’s banking information. Parrot ultimately stole more than $70,000.
United States District Judge Mary G. Lewis sentenced Parrot to 18 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Derek A. Shoemake of the Florence office prosecuted this case.