Peggie A. Robinson, 51, of North Platte was sentenced in federal court Thursday to four years of probation for Social Security fraud.
Robinson was also ordered to pay $28,673 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Deb Gilg said.
On May 23, 2006, Robinson was court appointed as legal guardian of an incapacitated adult woman who lived at Hilltop Estates nursing home in Gothenburg. In Robinson's capacity, she was approved by the Social Security Administration in 2007 to be her ward’s “representative payee” for benefits.
Robinson did not set up a trust account. She had her ward’s benefits electronically deposited into her own personal bank account, Gilg said.
Before January 2009, the SSA determined they had underpaid benefits to the ward’s deceased mother.
SSA determined that Robinson’s ward, as her mother’s beneficiary, was entitled to receive the underpaid benefits.
To compensate for the underpayment, in 2009 SSA electronically deposited two social security payments to Robinson's account, where her ward's regular monthly payments were already being deposited. The deposits were for $26,052 and $2,621, both in January 2009.
After receiving the deposits as the “representative payee”, Robinson "converted those funds to her own use," Gilg said.
Robinson was indicted in May 2011. She was not accused of converting any of her ward’s regular monthly benefits to her own use, Gilg said.
The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.