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Idaho woman sentenced for using $55,000 of mother-in-law’s benefits after she died


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The following is a news release from United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

BOISE — A Boise woman has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison for theft of government funds.

According to court records, Lavella A. Williams was a joint account holder on the bank account where her mother-in-law’s social security benefits were deposited. After her mother-in-law passed away, Williams and her former husband continued to spend the benefits.

Williams knew the social security payments were not hers and that she was not entitled to the money. Between April 2016 and June 2019, over $55,000 of social security benefits were deposited and spent.

Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also ordered Williams to pay $55,422 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and to serve three years of supervised release following her prison sentence. Williams pleaded guilty to the charge on June 28.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho made the announcement and commended the cooperative efforts of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nampa Police Department, which led to charges.