A Douglasville woman was arraigned in federal court last week on charges arising out of a scheme to obtain benefits that should have been used for a disabled, mentally incompetent beneficiary.
Cathy Thomas, 59, was arraigned on February 7, 2014, on an indictment that charged her with one count of wire fraud in violation of Title 18 USC Section 1343, three counts of false statements to a federal agency in violation of Title 18 USC Section 1001, and one count of representative payee fraud in violation of Title 42 USC Section 1383a(a)(4).
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
“This Defendant was entrusted with the responsibility of making certain that the Social Security benefits were used to care for this defenseless woman who was unable to care for herself, and could not even communicate her name to others" said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a press release. "Instead, the Defendant stole her money and let her languish in various hospitals where they did not even know her true identity."
According to Yates, the indictment, and other information
presented in court: In August 2010, an unidentified, mentally incompetent
woman was abandoned at an Alabama hospital emergency room. Because she
was unable to communicate she remained unidentified until August 2013, when the
Alabama Bureau of Investigation, working in connection with the Georgia Bureau
of Investigation, was able to identify her.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) determined that the woman was a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary. They further determined that Thomas was the woman’s representative payee, and was continuing to receive the woman’s monthly SSI benefits.