Former Hennepin County Employee And Husband Sentenced To Prison For Theft Of Government Funds

Date: 
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota:

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of ROBERT ANTHONY COLEMAN, 46, to one year and one day in prison and YOLANDA YVETTE COLEMAN a/k/a YOLANDA YVETTE PITTMAN, 51, to six months in prison for conspiring to defraud multiple government social services programs over the course of several years. The defendants, who pleaded guilty on May 8, 2019, were sentenced on October 23, 2019, before Senior Judge David S. Doty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed with the court, from 2002 through December 2016, PITTMAN was employed by the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD). From at least October 2009, PITTMAN’s job duties gave her access to computer databases used in processing applications for government benefits intended to assist low-income persons with food, medical, and other living expenses, including Medical Assistance and SNAP food stamp benefits. During this time, PITTMAN became romantically involved with COLEMAN, who was a HSPHD client prior to and continuing into their relationship. PITTMAN and COLEMAN were married on August 17, 2014.

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed with the court, from October 2010 through August 2018, PITTMAN and COLEMAN conspired to fraudulently obtain Section 8 rental housing assistance subsidies, SNAP benefits, Medical Assistance benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration, and other public assistance, by concealing information and submitting false applications to the government entities responsible for implementing these programs. For example, PITTMAN and COLEMAN failed to disclose that they resided together while COLEMAN received Section 8, SNAP, Medical Assistance, and SSI public assistance benefits. PITTMAN also acted as COLEMAN’S Personal Care Attendant (PCA) for several years, with COLEMAN’S Medical Assistance benefits paying for these PCA services. The total loss amount was $248,838.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of the Inspector General, Hennepin County Fraud Investigations Unit, and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Hudleston and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Middlecamp prosecuted the case.