No prison in case of Social Security fraud

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered no prison for a southeastern Michigan woman linked to nearly $224,000 in illegal disability benefits from the federal government.

Prosecutors recommended a year in custody for Phyllis Adkins, but federal Judge Stephen Murphy III put her on probation for three years last Friday. Despite many six-figure frauds, people caught stealing from the Social Security system rarely get a prison sentence in eastern Michigan.

For nearly nine years, Adkins collected disability benefits while working under a different Social Security number. Separately, benefits were paid in her daughter's name based on Adkins' disability record.

Adkins must repay about $224,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Particka called it "blatant, intentional" fraud.

Published: Tue, Feb 07, 2017