From the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office:
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General Special Agent in Charge John F. Grasso, today announced that a 58-year-old Brooklyn woman has been arraigned on an indictment in which she is charged with second-degree grand larceny for allegedly stealing Social Security benefits totaling more than $235,000 that were intended for her father, who had been deceased since 2002. The defendant allegedly withdrew the money every month for 13 years from a joint savings account that they shared.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We allege that the defendant knowingly withdrew Social Security benefits from this joint bank account that she was not entitled to after her father passed away. Her alleged actions were criminal and self-serving. We intend to hold her accountable for allegedly stealing taxpayer money.”
SSA-OIG Special Agent in Charge John F. Grasso said: “Today’s arrest should serve as a warning to those who choose to selfishly defraud the Social Security Trust Fund. These cases are vigorously pursued, and we will continue to work jointly with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, and other law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute fraud perpetrators in the future. I strongly encourage the public to report suspected instances of Social Security fraud to the SSA OIG’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or http://oig.ssa.gov/report.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Jacquelyn Anderson Wideman, 58, of East New York, Brooklyn. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which she is charged with one count of second-degree grand larceny. She was released without bail and ordered to return to court on January 9, 2019.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant’s deceased father Willie Simmons, aka “George Anderson” was receiving retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration before he died. The benefits were deposited to an HSBC joint account that was shared with the defendant. It is alleged that after the defendant’s father died on May 7, 2002, she continued to withdraw Social Security benefits intended for her father from various automated teller machines in Brooklyn until May 2015 when the Social Security Administration discovered that her father died in 2002.
The defendant admitted in a written statement that her father passed away on May 7, 2002 and that the two shared a joint HSBC bank account that she continued to withdraw his Social Security benefits.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG), specifically Special Agent Neisha Samaroo, under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge John F. Grasso.
The District Attorney thanked the United States Secret Service for their assistance in the case.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Vivian Young Joo, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Christopher Blank, Chief of the District Attorney’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Unit, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.