Carroll County Woman Pleads Guilty to Supplemental Security Income Fraud
June 11, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 10, 2021
From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia:
ABINGDON, Va. – A Carroll County woman pleaded guilty today to Supplemental Security Income fraud after receiving disability benefits for more than two years for which she was not entitled.
According to court documents, Jessica Lynn Hawks, previously known as Jessica Lynn Wardwell, 37, received benefits from the Social Security Administration for which she was not entitled. Hawks admitted today that from February 7, 2014 to August 1, 2016, she received $21,858 in Supplemental Security Income disability benefits of behalf of a minor child that was no longer in her custody. Hawks agreed under penalty of perjury that she would use all disability benefits made to her as the representative payee for her minor child’s needs. She also agreed to notify the Social Security Administration of any change in her child’s living arrangements or care. However, when Hawks lost custody of her child in February 2014, she never informed the Social Security Administration that the minor child was no longer in her care and instead converted the disability benefits she received on the minor’s behalf for her own benefit.
Hawks pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully converting Supplemental Security Income disability benefits received for the use and benefit of another, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 1383a(a)(4). She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28, 2021 and faces a period of incarceration of zero to six months, pursuant to a written plea agreement entered with the government.
Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar of the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.
The Office of the Inspector General – Social Security Administration is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena Busscher is prosecuting the case.