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Tennessee Couple Nabbed for SSA Disability Fraud

Posted on Apr 11, 2012

A Kingsport, Tennessee couple admitted in court on March 21, 2012 that they defrauded the Social Security Administration disability program by allegedly taking and using over $37,000 of relatives’ benefits for themselves.

Kelsey Lee Jones, 58, and Kathy Wilson Jones, 52, both face up to five years in prison and fines totaling up to $250,000 for their alleged fraud. They pleaded guilty in the Greeneville U.S. District Court. 

According to a Department of Justice press release and the United States Eastern District of Tennessee Attorney’s Office, the married couple applied for and became representative payees for one of Kathy Jones’s relatives for whom they were responsible. This included his care and the disbursement of his SSA disability benefits.

But, the couple betrayed the man’s trust and violated federal law when they reportedly used $37,338 of his benefits for their own personal gain. 

Kelsey Jones allegedly admitted that he “submitted false accountings” of the funds, opening a mutual fund for himself, using his name and that of the relative as joint tenants. In addition, he allegedly collected an administrative fee for his services and did not pay the relative’s nursing home bills.

Kathy Jones also allegedly confessed to “preparing false accountings” that she then sent to the Social Security Administration. In addition, she is reported to have used funds from her husband’s bogus mutual funds account and the relative’s ATM card to purchase personal items.

Both Kelsey Jones and Kathy Jones will be sentenced September 6 for their fraudulent activities. Read more on the story here.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law