DENVER – Pamela Susan Diederich, age 42, of Conifer, Colorado, was sentenced late last week to serve 5 years probation, with the first six months in home detention, for making a false statement for use in determining rights to Supplemental Security Income benefits. The sentence was handed down by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. Judge Daniel also ordered Diederich to pay $53,049.68 in restitution to the Social Security Administration, including a $10,000 payment to be made within 60 days.
Diederich was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on January 4, 2010. She pled guilty before Chief Judge Daniel on October 20, 2010. The defendant was sentenced on February 3, 2011.
According to court records, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, Diederich, the custodial parent of a minor child, applied for Supplemental Security Income benefits for the child. The Social Security Administration (SSA), the federal agency that administers the Supplemental Security Income program, found the child was eligible for benefits in part because of a disability and in part because of the defendant’s household composition and income. SSA selected Diederich to be the payee for the benefits. As the payee, the defendant was responsible for truthfully completing and submitting forms the SSA provided, reporting any change in her household composition and income.
Beginning on January 1, 1997, and continuing until December 2006, the defendant failed to report to SSA that a member of her household earned significant wages. On August 11, 2006, Diederich misrepresented her marital status. By concealing her true household income and composition, between January 1997 and December 2006, the defendant received approximately $49,762.53 too much in Supplemental Security Income benefits that neither she nor the minor child was entitled to receive.
“This is theft, pure and simple,” said Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Wilbert Craig. “This individual abused the good faith placed in her by lying to receive taxpayer funds and we are pleased to see her brought to justice. This investigation illustrates the importance that the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General places on fighting fraud against the Social Security System. We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their aggressive actions that resulted in this sentencing.”
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General.
Diederich was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Kelley.