UPDATE 3/8/13 @ 10:10 p.m.
PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Two women were sentenced in federal court for their roles in defrauding healthcare and Social Security benefit programs, according to information released Friday by the agency.
Patty Justice was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to
make restitution of $65,088 to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Justice was sentenced based on her Nov. 2, 2012, guilty plea regarding theft of government property.
The case was initiated based on a referral from the SSA office in Pikeville, Ky. The referral alleged that Justice failed to report that she was living with and being supported by her husband, who had substantial income.
The investigation determined that Justice was, in fact, living with and being supported by her husband. As a result, the SSA determined that based upon Justice's failure to report her true living arrangements and
resources, she fraudulently received $65,088 in SSI benefits.
Another woman, Alice Cole, was sentenced to six months in prison and three years supervised release, and was ordered to make restitution of $110,128 to the SSA and $25,998 to the commonwealth of Kentucky Medicaid program.
Cole was sentenced based on her Nov. 6, 2012, guilty plea to theft of government property.
This case was initiated in June 2012 based on information provided by the Prestonsburg, Ky., SSA office. The referral alleged that Cole failed to report that she was living with and being supported by her husband who had substantial pension income.
The investigation determined that Cole had falsely reported a separation from her husband to SSA officials. As a result, the agency determined that based upon Cole's failure to report her true
living arrangements and resources, she fraudulently received $110,128 in SSI benefits. Cole also fraudulently received $25,998 in Medicaid benefits.
The indictments returned by federal grand jury in London, Ky. allege the defendants defrauded one or more of the assistance programs out of more than a million dollars combined.
Most of the indictments allege the defendants intentionally concealed their true living arrangements from social security agents for years. Many falsely reported they were separated from their spouse when in reality they were living with their spouse and receiving financial support from them.
The U.S. Attorney says the three people from Pike County are:
The health care fraud and theft of government property charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The charges of social security fraud and making false statements carry a maximum of five years in prison.