Slidell woman pleads guilty to theft of public funds | USAO-EDLA

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that LINDA REED HILL (“HILL”), 75, of Slidell, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today to theft of public funds in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

From or about May 1, 2004 until or about February 28, 2021, HILL knowingly misappropriated, stole, stolen and converted to its use money belonging to the United States and one of its departments and agencies, namely the Social Security Administration, to which it knew that it was not entitled, when she withdrew funds from a joint JP Morgan Chase account under her own name and that of Person “A”.

Prior to April 28, 2004, Person “A” received SSA Survivor’s Retirement Insurance (“RSI”) disability benefits. After the death of Person “A”, from approximately May 2004 to February 2021, Person “A” continued to receive monthly SSA disability benefits ranging from $1,310.00 to 1 $518.00 per month, for a total of $319,696.00, which was deposited by SSA into a joint JP Morgan Chase Savings Account, shared by HILL and Individual “A”. Monthly SSA funds were then withdrawn from the joint account, transferred to two different accounts listed under HILL‘s name, and removed by HILL.

HILL faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by a maximum of three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00 and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.

“Social Security benefit fraud is a criminal offense, which the DOJ and my office take very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans. “For several years, Ms. Hill fraudulently received Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits by claiming monies that were not intended for her. This call illustrates that our office will continue to work with the Office of the SSA Inspector General and other investigative agencies to identify those who commit SSA fraud for personal gain.

“For nearly two decades, Ms. Hill intentionally stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the SSA,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. “We will continue to hold accountable those who defraud Social Security programs.”

Sentencing in this case is scheduled for January 10, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Greg G. Guidry.

The United States Attorney’s Office also wishes to thank the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, for their assistance in this matter. The prosecution of this case is being led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, head of the Financial Crimes Unit.

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