Slidell Woman Pleads Guilty to Concealment of Material Facts in Connection with Her Receipt of Social Security Benefits
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana:
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that BRENDA PROVOST, age 69, of Slidell, pleaded guilty on February 17, 2022 before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon with concealment of material facts in connection with the receipt of social security benefits, a violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 1383a(a)(3). She had been charged in a bill of information filed on December 17, 2021. Judge Fallon scheduled sentencing for May 12, 2022.
According to court documents, PROVOST received monthly supplemental security income (“SSI”) benefits from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) from May 2005 through February 2020. The amount of SSI benefits depends on a recipient’s financial condition and family composition. During this period, PROVOST was married but failed to accurately report her marital status to SSA officers. As a result, she received $123,234.00 in SSI benefits that she otherwise would not have received had she accurately represented her marital status.
The maximum penalties PROVOST could face are up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00 or twice the gross gain or gross loss, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee. According to the plea agreement, PROVOST and the government agreed that a term of probation would be an appropriate sentence. PROVOST also agreed to pay $123,234.00 in restitution. Judge Fallon will make a determination on whether to accept the plea agreement after the U.S. Probation Office completed its presentence investigation report.
U.S. Attorney Evans extended his thanks to the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, which investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution.