A Westchester woman is facing charges for allegedly taking in a former teenage inmate, and illegally claiming Social Security benefits after his father died and the kid quit school and moved out.
Hawthorne resident Suzanne Pope, 54, has been charged with grand larceny for stealing more than $13,000 in benefits over several months.
The felony complaint alleges that in May 2015, Pope and her husband took in a former county jail inmate who was living in the Children’s Village Sanctuary Shelter upon his release from jail. While the teen lived with the Popes, his father died on Sept. 18, 2015, making him eligible for Social Security survivor benefits.
From Sept. 2015 through March 2016, the teenager was enrolled in high school and eligible for those benefits. In December 2015, Pope applied for the benefits on the teenager’s behalf, using her home address. She took possession of his Social Security debit card in February the following year.
According to Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., Social Security deposited $1,565 into the teenager’s debit account monthly. In March 2016, the teen moved out of the Popes’ home and stopped attending school, making him ineligible for those benefits.
Pope allegedly continued to receive the benefits, and from April to December 2016, Pope allegedly used the debit card for personal needs without the knowledge of the teenager and in violation of Social Security Administration regulations. She was arrested at her home on Aug. 30 and is due back in Mount Pleasant Town Court on Oct. 11 to answer the charge.
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