Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another Elderly Woman Investigated for Stealing Social Security Benefits

After the news broke about the 82-year-old woman who was charged for stealing social security benefits last September, another elderly woman is being investigation for the same illegal act.

As reported, a 72-year-old woman from Gretna, Louisiana was sentenced to probation for stealing more than $135,000.00 in Social Security benefits after her mother died.

Based on the initial investigation, the woman, identified as Shirley A. Bunda, and late her mother used to share a checking account during the latter’s lifetime. However, when her mother died on February 15, 1998, Bunda failed to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) about it.

Consequently, Bunda continued to receive her late mother’s social security benefits payment since the agency was clueless that the real beneficiary had passed away. 

Bunda’s illegal act was only discovered on August 3, 2011. The amount she collected from her mother’s benefits reportedly amounted to over $135,000.00, which she has to repay aside from the restitution in the amount of $133,297.00.

Incidentally, Bunda has already repaid $40,000.00 dollars. Nevertheless, she was still sentenced to three years probation by U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan last Wednesday.

Apparently, the act was initially unintentional, but it eventually became inexcusable on the part of Bunda since she obviously enjoyed receiving her undue benefits and didn’t even bother to report her mother’s death.

Meanwhile, the SSA is encouraging everyone to report the death of any social security recipients. In fact, the agency readily provided its contact details on its official website in case of a recipient’s death so that it could stop sending payments to the same. Also, a Los Angeles disability lawyer here reminded everyone that such illegal acts cannot be concealed forever; therefore, it would be best if people would simply avoid doing it so.