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State v. Ms. M (DMC No. 12750)

Felony Benefits Fraud ($50,800 Misappropriated from SSI), Felony Fraudulent Schemes and Felony False Swearing Reduced to Probation with Zero Days of Actual Jail – State v. Ms. M (DMC No. 12750) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2014-002739): Ms. M was born without part of her arm.  She was on SSI Benefits and had to fill out regular forms with the Social Security Administration.  She became married to a gentleman who made good money, and who owned several houses.  In addition, she received a $250,000 civil settlement (which left her with $100,000 after attorney’s fees and cost).  She did not report any of these to the Social Security Administration and, in fact, signed forms stating she was not married and had no other income.

When she was interviewed by the Social Security Agency, she denied being married.  When they showed her a copy of her marriage certificate, she broke down and confessed to the entire scheme.  She was then charged with Fraudulent Schemes Involving Benefits Fraud, Theft and False Swearing.  If all charges were run consecutively and she was sentenced to the maximum, she would do almost 30 years in prison.

We became involved and we were able to show some of the hardships that Ms. M had faced.  We also showed through Mitigation that she was truly remorseful and was now seeking counseling to deal with the loss of her arm and medical situation. Ultimately, we were able to get the charges reduced and the Judge sentenced Ms. M to probation with Zero Days of Actual Jail.

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