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Montz Woman Sentenced for Theft of Government Funds

November 16, 2021

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana:

NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that IGEL CASANOVA GIBBINS (“GIBBINS”), age 44, of Montz, Louisiana, was sentenced today for Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

According to documents filed in federal court, the case against IGEL CASANOVA GIBBINS (“GIBBINS”) began after the State of Louisiana complied with a request from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to provide the SSA with death data of approximately 1.6 million Social Security number holders who had died in Louisiana from January 1, 1979, through December 31, 2019. As part of that data, the State of Louisiana disclosed that D.C., a participant in the SSA’s Retirement Survivor Insurance program (“RSI Program”), died on or about August 16, 2012.

Unaware of D.C.’s death, the SSA erroneously released approximately $202,417.00 in RSI Program funds from August 2012 through December 2020, via automatic wire transfers (i.e., direct deposit) to D.C.’s jointly held Capital One Bank (“Capital One”) account. GIBBINS, D.C.’s daughter, was a joint account holder of the Capital One account. D.C.’s RSI Program benefits were not transferrable to GIBBINS. Following the automatic deposit of RSI Program benefits, GIBBINS accessed the funds and wrongfully converted the funds to her own personal use, depleting nearly all account funds. The funds were used on purchase transactions or transfers out of the account to pay bills, for example, such as for mortgage payments and vehicle loan payments. GIBBINS never advised the SSA of D.C.’s death.

The SSA determined that GIBBINS fraudulently obtained $200,396.00 in SSA disability benefits from her father’s Capital One Bank account.

United States District Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced GIBBINS to five (5) years probation, 100 hours of community service, full restitution to the Social Security Administration, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paige O’Hale.

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