New Orleans Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of More Than $86,000 in Social Security Funds
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -- U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that DANIELLE COLEMAN, age 39, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty on January 19, 2023 before United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier to Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.
According to documents filed in federal court, COLEMAN's grandmother was authorized to receive Social Security Administration ("SSA") Title II -- Retirement Survivor Insurance (RSI) Benefits up until her death which occurred on September 8, 2009. An investigation by special agents with the SSA, Office of Inspector General and United States Department of Treasury, Inspector General for Tax Administration, revealed COLEMAN was in possession of her late grandmother's ATM card and began withdrawing money from her account after her death. COLEMAN used her late grandmother's ATM card to pay for her own personal expenses knowing she was not entitled to those Social Security benefits. COLEMAN failed to notify the SSA of her grandmother's death and took approximately $86,280.00 in SSI benefits from her account. An additional $1,200.00 of COVID-19 stimulus funds were erroneously deposited into COLEMAN's grandmother's account, and COLEMAN also used these funds for personal expenses.
COLEMAN faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General and the United States Department of Treasury, Inspector General for Tax Administration. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachal Cassagne and Spiro Latsis.