Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Story by George Diepenbrock, courtesy The Lawrence Journal-World
Federal prosecutors have filed a felony charge of making a false statement against a Eudora woman, alleging she told the Social Security Administration in 2007 that her husband did not live with her even though he did.
According to a complaint filed Monday against Sheery Lynn Regalado, prosecutors allege she received about $61,000 in disability benefits during 11 years that she was not eligible to receive because she concealed her living arrangement.
Regalado began receiving disability payments in 1992, and in August 2000 she reported her husband, who was not named in the complaint, no longer lived at her Eudora home and that he did not pay rent or provide money for utilities. She also filled out a Social Security survey in 2007 reporting her husband no longer lived with her.
Prosecutors said Social Security investigators need to know the number of residents living in a household and the income available to determine the monthly amount a recipient is eligible to receive.
Investigators later received records that her husband had been employed at Kansas University since 1995 and the only residence he reported on his employment documents was the one he shared with his wife.
Investigators also discovered the couple’s joint bank account where his paychecks were sent. She also deposited her benefit checks into the account.
The complaint alleges that in a July 2011 interview, Sheery Regalado admitted to sharing a bank account with her husband, handling the couple’s finances and acknowledging she “failed to accurately notify SSA of her husband’s additional income that she had access to, as well as the fact that her husband resided with her in Eudora.”
If convicted Regalado faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.