March 12, 2013
PIKEVILLE — Three Eastern Kentucky women were sentenced recently in U.S. District Court, following guilty pleas in two separate Social Security fraud cases.
According to information released by the Social Security Office of the Inspector General, Alice Cole, of Floyd County, was sentenced Feb. 19 to six months in prison and three years of supervised release, and was ordered to make restitution of $110,128.00 to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and $25,998.17 to the Commonwealth of Kentucky Medicaid program.
Cole was sentenced following a Nov. 6 guilty plea for violating one count of theft of government property.
According to investigators, Cole failed to report that she was living and being supported by her husband, who had substantial pension income. The investigation concluded that Cole had falsely reported to SSA that she and her husband were separated.
According to Jason Baker, with the Office of the Inspector General, Cole was represented in her initial Social Security claim by Eric C. Conn, who was also recently named in a federal lawsuit alleging he participated in a fraudulent scheme coordinated between Conn and former administrative law judge David B. Daugherty.
Also appearing in court was Patty Justice, of Pike County, who was sentenced to three years probation, and was ordered to make restitution of $65,088.0 to the SSA. Justice pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.
Justice was also discovered to be living with, and being supported by, her husband while falsely reporting a separation to the SSA.
Sasha DeHart, of Pikeville, was the third to be sentenced for theft of government property. She was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to make restitution of $29,876.36 to the SSA, and $37,872.57 to the Commonwealth of Kentucky Medicaid program. The investigation determined that DeHart and her young son were in fact being fully supported by her husband.
All three cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Smith.