West Virginia Woman Faces Multiple Fraud Charges Including Social Security Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

Thursday, April 3, 2014
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 Article from WOWKTV here

A former West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) employee has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Shannon Collins, 41, of Logan, West Virginia is charged with 35 counts of mail fraud, access device fraud, social security fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, the crimes were committed by Collins, also known as Shannon Varney, while she was employed as a case worker in the Logan office of the West Virginia DHHR in 2009.

Collins is charged with using the social security numbers of two deceased individuals to establish false accounts through which she could claim benefits.  

She then accessed the accounts, filed false claims and had benefits mailed to her post office box, court documents show.

Collins also mailed herself two EBT Cards, formerly known as the food stamp program, which she used until December of 2009.  

The indictment said that from April 2009 to December 2009, Collins defrauded the DHHR out of $52,000.

If convicted, Collins faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, and two years of mandatory incarceration for each count of aggravated identity theft.  

She also faces up to five years incarceration for the misuse of social security numbers and ten years for the access device fraud. 

The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for DHHR, assisted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration, and the United States Department of Agriculture.