Jackson County Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Social Security Income Benefits
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of West Virginia:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Jackson County woman pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Monique Ann Casto, 37, of Kenna, unlawfully collected $41,166 in Social Security Survivor’s Insurance Benefits payments on behalf of a minor child after losing custody of that child.
Casto began receiving the benefits in March 2006 for the care of a child as the child’s representative payee. These Social Security representative payee benefits were based on income and living arrangements. The benefits required that the SSA money received be used for the well-being of the child. They also created a duty on the recipient to report a change in living arrangements. Casto failed to disclose that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources took custody of the minor child on June 23, 2015, and that her parental rights were terminated in May 2016. Casto continued to collect benefits unlawfully from June 2015 through August 2019.
Casto pleaded guilty to concealment of an event that affects SSA benefits and to conversion of SSA benefits. She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,00 fine.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the Social Security Administration (SSA) and SSA-Office of Inspector General (OIG) for conducting the investigation.
United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Julie M. White is prosecuting the case.