Woman sentenced for stealing late mother's SSI

Posted at 1:04 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 13:04:48-05

A Cleveland woman was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 for stealing from government assistance, said officials with the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Authorities said Barbara J. Clark, 63, was sentenced to six months in jail and must pay $188,973 in restitution to the Social Security Administration after collecting her deceased mother's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for more than 30 years.

Clark began stealing her mother's SSI benefits after she died in June 1983, and continued to withdraw money from their shared account until she was caught in August 2014, officials said in a media release. 

Court documents show the Social Security Administration discovered Clark's mother's death through the Medicare Non-Utilization Project, officials said. 

In 2015, Clark pleaded guilty to one count of information for theft of public money.

In an unrelated case also prosecuted by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, officials said another woman - 60-year-old Kathryn Pulley, of Garfield Heights - was recently sentenced to eight months in prison for stealing more than $58,000 in SSI benefits. 

Pulley pleaded guilty to one count of information for theft of public money in 2015. 

According to officials, Pulley concealed her marriage and cohabitation with her husband from the Social Security Administration to receive benifits she was not entitled to. 

From June 2007 to April 2015, she fraudulently received $58,033, which she must now pay in restitution. 

The prosecution of both cases followed investigations by the Social Seucirty Administration Office of Inspector general.