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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bakersfield Woman Faces 10 years of Imprisonment for SS Fraud

A relative of a Social Security retirement beneficiary pleaded guilty to fraud before US District Judge Lawrence Neill on Thursday.

Nancy Ann Keenan, 56, admitted that she failed to report her great-aunt's death on July 6, 2003. The Social Security Administration (SSA) continued to send monthly checks from July 2003 to July 2010 and Keenan used the deceased's retirement benefits for her personal expenses, reports said.

According to SSA investigation reports, Keenan had collected more than $70,000 from the agency and had also signed checks from her great-aunt's bank account.

Keenan faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine.

Failure to report your loved one’s death to SSA and using the benefits of the deceased for personal expenses is considered fraud. The agency can impose grave penalties and demand repayment if the accused is proven guilty.

If SSA discovers that you cannot repay the amount, it can collect the damages from your other family members’ Social Security benefits. This means your violation of SSA policies can affect your family members’ benefits.

If your relative has no legal dependents and you are his or her next of kin, you may consult a Social Security lawyer who can help you process legal documents that may qualify you as a beneficiary. You do not have to commit fraud just to receive living allowances. Also, it is better to report Social Security account changes immediately to avoid any legal consequences.

For more information on Social Security retirement benefits, dial our toll free number at 1-866-772-2889, or email us at for free case analysis.