Hammond woman to plead guilty in Social Security fraud
A Hammond woman intends to plead guilty to stealing more than $108,000 in Social Security benefits over a six-year period ending in September, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond.
Veronica Woods-Smith, 61, faces up to 10 years in prison, although federal prosecutors will recommend that she serve the minimum of the sentencing range under federal guidelines, the agreement says. It indicates that she also will agree to pay full restitution in the case.
After her husband, Phil Woods, died in 2007, Woods-Smith never told the Social Security Administration of his death and continued to allow his Social Security benefits to be deposited into their joint bank account until September for a total of $108,401, prosecutors said.
Woods-Smith’s hearing on a change of plea is scheduled for June 2.
Teresa Auch Schultz