Money can sometimes drive people to curious and often illegal courses of action. When these actions involve potentially stealing money from the government, though, then the repercussions for committing such federal crimes can be much more severe. Two Pennsylvania women have recently been accused of obtaining funds from the government to care for a child but spending the money on themselves, instead.
Specifically, a boy's mother and grandmother were indicted for allegedly using Social Security and disability benefits, intended for the child, on themselves. The report did not mention how or what, precisely, the two women supposedly spent the money on. It was also not stated how authorities were able to determine that the two were spending the child's money in a negligent fashion.
As a result of the incident, officials announced the mother and grandmother have been charged with the theft of government funds and Social Security fraud. The boy was subsequently removed from the household and placed in the custody of a child and youth services facility. If convicted, both women face a maximum penalty of 15 years behind bars in addition to probation and fines.
The report did not indicate if either woman had been offered or accepted a deal to reduce jail time, nor was it stated if they would be making guilty or not guilty pleas. In Pennsylvania, individuals convicted of federal crimes are that much more likely to receive lengthy prison sentences. In addition, it is not uncommon for judges to treat the government guidelines for sentencing as indisputable doctrine. It is worth noting that a person who is more knowledgeable of their own rights has a much better chance of dismissing or reducing any time faced.
Source: pennlive.com, "Harrisburg mother and grandmother indicted on federal Social Security fraud charges," Anna Orso, Aug. 8, 2013