KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former employee of the Social Security Administration was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for illegally accessing personal identification information as part of a nearly $10,000 fraud scheme to steal from the government.
Mary Francis Taylor, 54, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to one year and one day in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Taylor to pay $9,853 in restitution.
On Sept. 16, 2014, Taylor pleaded guilty to the theft of government money.
Taylor worked as a teleservice technician in the Social Security Administration’s Mid-America Program Service Center in Kansas City, Mo., until she resigned on Jan. 10, 2014. In that role, she had access to sensitive private information for all individuals who possess a Social Security number.
Taylor admitted that she found a NetSpend debit card on a public bus in August 2013. She took the NetSpend debit card as well as some documents that contained additional personal identification information. Taylor called NetSpend, falsely claiming to be the cardholder (identified as Victim 1), and instructed NetSpend to add another beneficiary to the debit card. Taylor possessed identity information for this new beneficiary, identified as Victim 2, because she found Victim 2’s case file on a co-workers desk.
Taylor illegally accessed the SSA computer system to create an overage to Victim 2’s record, which was direct deposited into the bank account linked to the debit card that was stolen from Victim 1. As a result, SSA direct deposited $9,853 into that bank account.
Taylor used the debit card to pay off her account at Aaron’s and to pay arrearages on her home mortgage, utilities and car loan.