FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A Florence woman has been sentenced to more than a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing benefits from disabled social security beneficiaries.
Kianna Parrot, 31, used her government computer to defraud beneficiaries out of their Supplemental Security Insurance payments from September 2017 to June 2018, according to Acting United States Attorney A. Lance Crick.
Parrot worked as a claims specialist for the Social Security Administration in Florence.
The SSI program protects the most vulnerable members of society by paying benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources, Crick said.
Officials with the Social Security Administration first noticed suspicious deposits to Parrot’s personal accounts from SSI accounts. The investigation revealed Parrot diverted SSI underpayments intended for legitimate beneficiaries to her own account.
She accomplished this theft by using her Social Security Administration computer and personal identifying number to access the social security records of individuals owed SSI underpayments.
Once she accessed these records, she would initiate a payment transaction that listed the names and social security numbers of the true beneficiaries, but listed Parrot’s banking information. Parrot ultimately stole more than $70,000.
United States District Judge Mary G. Lewis sentenced Parrot to 18 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Derek A. Shoemake of the Florence office prosecuted this case.