South Dakota Woman Sentenced for Theft of Government Funds

Date: 
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Office Affiliation: 

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Aberdeen, South Dakota, woman convicted of Theft of Government Funds was sentenced on October 21, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Brianna Breaw, a/k/a Stephanie Haupt, age 28, was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $58,244.95, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Breaw was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 10, 2018.  She pled guilty on July 29, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from incidents between on or about August 28, 2014, and November 28, 2017, when Breaw willfully and knowingly embezzled, stole, purloined, and converted to her own use money from departments or agencies of the United States, namely, Title XVI program benefits payments administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits payments funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Medicaid coverage funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Breaw began receiving Title XVI supplemental security income program benefits payments (SSI), Medicaid benefits, and SNAP benefits under her former name, Stephanie Haupt, and her original social security number.  On August 28, 2014, Breaw was issued a new social security number.  However, due to an oversight, the SSA failed to transfer Breaw’s SSI record from her original social security number to her new social security number, so her SSI and Medicaid benefits continued to be linked to her original social security number. 

In approximately October 2015, Breaw legally changed her name to Brianna Breaw.  She contacted the SSA to update the name linked to her new social security number, but the new name was not linked to her original social security number.  This resulted in her new social security number being linked to Brianna Breaw, and her original social security number being linked to Stephanie Haupt.

Breaw knowingly received SSI benefits payments, Medicaid benefits, and SNAP benefits payments under her former name and original social security number, while at the same time she was working full-time under her new name and new social security number.  Breaw lied to SSA on multiple occasions regarding her social security numbers, her marital status, her employment status, and her income in order to continue to receive SSI benefits payments.  She also lied on her various SNAP applications, and at one point was receiving overlapping SNAP benefits from South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. 

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.

Breaw was permitted to turn herself in to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service on or before January 14, 2020.