Ohio Woman Sentenced for Theft of Social Security Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 28, 2020
 

The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA), Gail S. Ennis, is announcing the sentencing of Gloria Funk today in the Southern District of Ohio, for misusing over $55,000 in Social Security benefits after her sister-in-law passed away. Ms. Funk was sentenced to 2 years of probation, with the first 90 days to be served in the location monitoring program, and was ordered to pay $55,920 in restitution to SSA. She had previously pleaded guilty to one count of theft of Government funds.

Ms. Funk held a joint bank account with her sister-in-law, Genevieve Blosser. When Blosser died in July 2013, SSA was not properly notified of her death, and Ms. Funk continued to use the Social Security benefits deposited into the account. She made regular withdrawals and purchases using her debit card, which was the only card that was used consistently after Blosser’s death to withdraw money from the account.

In 2019, an SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit identified Blosser as deceased according to State of Ohio records. When OIG investigators interviewed Ms. Funk, she confirmed that she had a joint account with her sister-in-law, and acknowledged withdrawing the funds. Furthermore, there is no indication that she told the bank or SSA her sister-in-law had died. Ms. Funk misused more than $55,900 from the account.

“Today’s sentencing should stand as a warning to Ohioans and all Americans that misusing Social Security benefits intended for someone else is a Federal crime,” said Wayland Quon, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the SSA OIG’s Chicago Field Division. “We will continue to work closely with SSA and other agencies to identify these cases, and pursue those who conceal information to defraud SSA.”

Quon thanked the United States Secret Service, Columbus Resident Office, for its assistance with this investigation. He also thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry in particular, for their support of this case and efforts to bring charges and recover funds for SSA.

Members of the public are encouraged to report suspected Social Security fraud to the OIG at https://oig.ssa.gov/. The audit that identified this case is also available in full on our website.

Members of the press may make inquiries to Social Security OIG at oig.dcom@ssa.gov or (410) 965-2671.

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