Mother of the Year

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Thief holding a social security card.

A Carroll County, Va., woman has pleaded guilty to Supplemental Security Income fraud after receiving disability benefits for which she was not entitled. Jessica Lynn Hawks, 37, lied to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration for more than two years.

Hawks admitted that from February 7, 2014 to August 1, 2016, she received $21,858 in Supplemental Security Income disability benefits on behalf of a minor child. Hawks falsely claimed that a disabled minor was in her custody during this time and that she was using the disability benefits to pay for the child’s needs. (I don’t think she’ll be winning mother of the year anytime soon.)

The Social Security Administration was also supposed to be notified of any change in the child’s living arrangements or care.  Hawks lost custody of her child in February 2014 but never informed the Social Security Administration that the minor child was no longer in her care. (After reading I don’t think it comes as any surprise that Hawks lost custody of her child.)

Instead, Hawks continued to collect disability benefits on behalf of her child and used the money for personal expenditures. (What kind of mother steals benefits from their child so that they can spend money frivolously?)   

Hawks pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully converting Supplemental Security Income disability benefits received for the use and benefit of another. She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28, 2021 and faces a period of incarceration of up to six months. (I’m sure the government will be keeping an eye on her until her day in court.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Carroll County Woman Pleads Guilty to Supplemental Security Income Fraud,” dated June 10, 2021.

ABINGDON, Va. – A Carroll County woman pleaded guilty today to Supplemental Security Income fraud after receiving disability benefits for more than two years for which she was not entitled.

According to court documents, Jessica Lynn Hawks, previously known as Jessica Lynn Wardwell, 37, received benefits from the Social Security Administration for which she was not entitled. Hawks admitted today that from February 7, 2014 to August 1, 2016, she received $21,858 in Supplemental Security Income disability benefits of behalf of a minor child that was no longer in her custody. Hawks agreed under penalty of perjury that she would use all disability benefits made to her as the representative payee for her minor child’s needs.

 

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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.