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59-year-old Man to Serve 1-year Prison Sentence for Social Security Fraud

June 18, 2012

Shreveport, La. – A 59-year-old man will be serving a one-year prison sentence due to Social Security fraud, reports said.

Herman Smith, from Keatchie, Lousiana, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Thomas Stagg, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.

Aside from the prison sentence, Smith was also ordered to pay restitution amounting to $20,159 to the Social Security. He will also serve a three-year supervised release.

According to Finley’s office, in early 2001, Smith began taking care of a man who was bound on a wheelchair. The disabled man then appointed him to be his representative payee through arrangements with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The representative payee is any person who receives mailed checks on behalf of the recipient.

When the man died two years later, Smith did not inform the SSA about it. Instead, Smith forged the man’s signature and continued to receive his benefits for more than eight years since the man died, Finley said further.

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