Sunday, September 04, 2016

Michigan Woman Cops Plea In $285K Swindle; Allegedly Had Herself Named Social Security Benefits "Payee" For Ten Vulnerable Adults Who Were Disabled &/Or Could Not Read Or Write, Then Pilfered Some Of Their Assistance Cash Earmarked For Rent, Housing Expenses, Food

In St. Joseph, Michigan, The Herald-Palladium reports:
  • A woman who was facing 26 felony counts in 11 cases involving fraud and/or embezzlement has pleaded no contest in three cases.

    As part of a plea deal reached between Jill Mae Williams and prosecutors, Williams will agree to repay $260,089 to the Social Security Administration and a little over $25,000 to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, lawyers said Wednesday.

    According to Berrien County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Wainwright, Williams had arranged for herself to become the “payee” for Social Security benefits for 10 vulnerable adults in Benton Harbor and was taking much of the money for her own use.

    In the MDHHS case, she was using some of their food allowance for herself, lawyers said. The people she was charged with stealing from were disabled and/or could not read and write. [...] Berrien County Trial Court Judge Arthur Cotter accepted Williams’ plea and will sentence her Sept. 19.
    William Brown, special agent in the Office of Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, said Williams is being sued by a corporation that owns the house where she was living. The 10 people she was allegedly embezzling from are or were tenants there, and some of their rents were not being paid, Wainright said. She said utility bills also went unpaid.

    Williams, 56, is in the Berrien County jail pending sentencing, with bond set at $5,000 cash or surety.

    She originally was charged with one count of welfare fraud $500 or more, one count of providing fraudulent information involving more than $500 in welfare, four counts of common law fraud, eight counts of obtaining $1,000 to $20,000 under false pretenses, one count of obtaining $20,000 to $50,000 under false pretenses, eight counts of embezzling $1,000 to $20,000 from a vulnerable adult, and three counts of embezzling $20,000 or more from a vulnerable adult.

    Wainwright said Williams had become the Social Security payee for 10 vulnerable adults and was, in some cases, using some of the money for herself.

    In one of the cases to which she pleaded no contest Wednesday, she collected $49,220 in Social Security benefits for a disabled man and misused $17,476. In another case, according to court records, she collected $54,078 in benefits and misused $31,453.

    In accepting her plea, Cotter noted that in an interview with an agent for the Social Security Administration, Williams admitted to reporting false information, misusing some money that belonged to vulnerable adults, did not have proof of spending for the peoples’ daily needs and mentioned going to casinos.
For the story, see Plea deal reached in $285,000 grift (BH's woman's fleece lines pockets at client's expense).

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