The Young and the Felonious


If you already have 15 felony ”priors,” you’d think you’d be a bit more careful not to break the law. Alas, some people never learn. The Herald Bulletin has the story of an Indiana woman who was already serving prison time for convictions related to forgery and theft when she was caught collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks. The presiding judge called her record the worst he’s seen ”for someone her age.”

According to the report, the woman illegally collected the benefits from prison, where she’d landed after pleading guilty to nine counts of forgery and another three for theft. She had a total of 15 felony convictions under her belt, along with another unresolved case—having to do with her fleeing home detention and theft (rejecting one’s own possessions to steal someone else’s…oh, the irony!)—by the time she was caught pilfering the SSI benefits, which are meant to be distributed to a qualifying minor’s guardian. In this case, that would be her child’s father, whom the child had lived with for at least three years.

For her illegal actions specifically surrounding the SSI benefits, she added seven more felony charges to her growing rap sheet, including three counts of welfare fraud, three counts of perjury and one count of theft. For the multiple counts of welfare fraud, she was sentenced to six years in prison and she received another 2.25 years for the remaining charges. (Eight or so years from now, that will still be hefty rap sheet ”for someone her age”!)

A tremendous amount of resources go into investigating, trying and convicting criminals, so a hefty prison sentence is the last resort for dealing with repeat offenders who show a blatant disregard for the law and the far-reaching implications of their crimes.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on, ”Woman sentenced to 6 years for welfare fraud,” an article written by Devan Filchak and published by The Herald Bulletin on March 1, 2016.

Lockwood said Reid’s criminal history is the worst record he’s seen of someone her age.

Reid received six years each on the three counts of welfare fraud, and she received 2.25 years for the rest of the charges, which will all run concurrently.

The charges are based on Reid’s collection of SSI benefits between June 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013, when she was serving time under a plea agreement for nine counts of forgery and three counts of theft. The father of Reid’s son said the boy had lived with him for at least three years, court records said.

Reid had another open case for escaping in home detention and theft. That case was dismissed, as was arranged in the plea agreement.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.