Milwaukee woman accused of converting SSI payments for her own use pleads guilty

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MILWAUKEE — A 38-year-old Milwaukee woman has pleaded guilty — accused of converting supplemental security income (SSI) payments intended for the use and benefit of others.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Theresa Anthony entered the plea of guilty in federal court on Thursday, May 5th — pleading guilty to a one-count indictment that charged her with converting SSI payments to a use other than for the use of the intended beneficiaries.

The offense has maximum penalties of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ of supervised release.

Anthony will be sentenced on August 5.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, SSI benefits are payable under Title XVI of the Social Security Act for aged, blind, and disabled persons with little or no income or resources. A “representative payee” is an individual or organization appointed by the Social Security Administration to receive and manage the SSI benefits of another person.

The indictment against Anthony charged that she acted through an entity known as City Transformation, Ltd., which successfully applied to serve as representative payee to receive and manage SSI benefit payments on behalf of numerous disabled or otherwise-qualified beneficiaries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In her role as executive director of City Transformation, Ltd., Anthony converted SSI payments received by City Transformation, Ltd. and intended for the use and benefit of others to her own use and that of City Transformation, Ltd., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As part of her plea, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office say Anthony admitted that on or about March 18th, 2011, she diverted SSI payments from a collective representative payee account maintained by City Transformation, Ltd. to a general business account maintained by City Transformation, Ltd., and then withdrew approximately $22,364.93 from that general account so that City Transformation, Ltd. could purchase Milwaukee real estate from Anthony.

Anthony has also admitted that the March 18, 2011 transactions were part of an ongoing course of conduct involving the misuse of SSI funds.

As part of her plea, she has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of approximately $250,000.

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