A 29-year-old Helena woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal Social Security fraud charges for claiming benefits for a stepdaughter who didn’t live with her.
According to court documents, from September 2007 through November 2009, Lindsey Williams claimed the minor stepdaughter lived with her. However, the girl had only lived with Williams for two or three months prior to September 2007 and didn’t realize that Williams had applied for survivor benefits.
None of the money collected by Williams was used for the care of the stepdaughter.
When questioned, Williams allegedly admitted it was wrong not to notify federal officials when the stepdaughter moved out. While she initially claimed that the stepdaughter had moved out then returned, she later admitted that was false.
Also during that time period, Williams claimed the stepdaughter on her taxes and also received food stamps for the girl. Once the girl found out, she filed a police report alleging identity theft and fraud.
The amount of money involved in the fraud case is being determined.
Williams is slated to be sentenced on Sept. 11. She faces up to five years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.