Mississippi woman pleads guilty to using two Social Security numbers to collect benefits
Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023
A Mississippi woman pleaded guilty to theft of public money by collecting benefits using two Social Security numbers, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jason Albers of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of the Inspector General, Dallas-Kansas City Field Division.
According to court records, Zenda Marie Bryan, 69, of Picayune, admitted receiving Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits using one Social Security number while simultaneously using another Social Security number to obtain and maintain employment. This conduct occurred in the Western District of Oklahoma, where she was charged in a federal indictment. The charges have since been transferred to the Southern District of Mississippi, where Bryan is now living.
“Ms. Zenda Bryan misused SSA programs and numbers for her own gain; her actions not only defrauded the Disability Insurance Benefit program but also the Supplemental Security Income program, a critical safety net for those in need. This plea will hold her accountable for the fraud she committed against SSA and taxpayers,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason Albers. “I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Southern District of Mississippi and the Western District of Oklahoma for their work in prosecuting this case.”
Bryan will be sentenced on July 17, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gaines Cleveland of the Southern District of Mississippi and Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Joynes of the Western District of Oklahoma.