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Oswego County Woman Sentenced to 24 Months for Stealing Her Deceased Son’s Disability Benefits

September 19, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Lisa Waldron, age 44, of Palermo, New York, was sentenced today to serve 24 months (two years) in federal prison for her conviction on charges of theft of government property, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Sharon B. MacDermott, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office (SSA-OIG).

As part of her previously entered guilty plea, Waldron admitted that for years she acted as the representative payee for her disabled minor son, Jordan Brooks, who was receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. A representative payee is a person or organization who receives Social Security benefits on another person’s behalf and is required to ensure the benefits are used only to support the beneficiary. Waldron also admitted that despite being legally required to use the benefits for Brooks’s care, Waldron used the money to pay for unrelated expenses.

Based in part on Waldron’s neglect of Brooks, he died on May 9, 2021. In July 2023, in a case brought by the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, Waldron pled guilty to manslaughter and assault charges related to her involvement in Brooks’s death.

After Brooks died, Waldron failed to notify the SSA of the death and continued to receive SSI benefits intended for Brooks despite knowing she was not entitled to them. During that period, Waldron continued to spend Brooks’s SSI benefits to pay her own expenses including fast food purchases and a trip to Myrtle Beach. Finally, in April 2022, SSA independently discovered the issue and terminated Brooks’s benefits. This prosecution followed.

In addition to imposing Waldron’s sentence to run consecutively (in addition to) to her anticipated state sentence, Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes also imposed a three-year term of post-release supervision and ordered Waldron to pay $13,292.76 in restitution—with $5,948.06 of that going to SSA and $7,344.70 being paid to the Crime Victims Fund.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG)  and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Tuck.

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