MADRAS, OR (KPTV) – A Madras woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security payments from disabled adults, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon says.
Tayva Tucker, 41, allegedly stole close to $40,000 in Social Security payments from 10 mentally disabled adults.
Court documents state Tucker beginning in March 2014 worked for a social services organization in Madras where she oversaw outreach to mentally disabled clients as part of the organization’s mental health program. As part of her work, Tucker assumed representative payee duties for some of her clients’ Title II and Title XVI Social Security benefits, the attorney’s office says.
A representative payee is appointed when the beneficiary in incapable of managing their benefits.
As a representative payee, Tucker was required to use the payments for the current and future needs of her clients, the attorney’s office says.
An organizational audit in 2016 uncovered unusual movement of funds between various client accounts, as well as funds transferred from client accounts to Tucker, according to the attorney’s office, who says Tucker when confronted admitted to taking clients’ Social Security benefits for her personal use.
An investigation revealed Tucker had stolen $39,277 from 10 victims, the attorney’s office says.
Tucker faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to pay $39,277 is restitution.
Tucker is due back in court for sentencing April 25.
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