Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Funds from Two Federal Agencies

A Massachusetts woman has pleaded guilty to stealing a substantial sum of VA and Social Security benefits.

A Massachusetts woman has pleaded guilty to stealing over $300,000 in benefits she received unlawfully from the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to an announcement from the Justice Department, Joyce Progin, 71, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of public funds.

After her former father in law passed away in 2009, Progin continued to receive Social Security and VA benefits he had been receiving and did not notify either agency that he was deceased. The benefits were being depositing into a bank account that she held jointly with her former father in law as his caregiver.

Although she admitted knowing that she was not entitled to the money, from November 2009 through March 2017, Progin received approximately $55,267 in Social Security benefits, and from November 2009 through November 2017, she received approximately $269,978 in VA benefits, totaling over $300,000 in public funds she received illegally.

The charge of theft of public funds provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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