Florida Woman Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for $180,000 Deceased Payee Fraud

Friday, March 4, 2016
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From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida:

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Debra A. Scott, 57, of Gainesville, was sentenced today to two years in prison and ordered to pay $179,979 in restitution for theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

During her guilty plea on September 2, 2015, Scott admitted that, after her mother’s death in January 1997, she continued to receive her mother’s Social Security Administration benefits checks at the home they shared.  Scott forged her mother’s signature on the checks and deposited them into her own account.  Between January 1997 and March 2014, Scott negotiated more than 200 stolen Social Security checks, totaling approximately $179,979.

This case resulted from investigations by the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Herbert S. Lindsey.