SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WWTI) — A Watertown woman has pleaded guilty to bank fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Carrie Wetherell, 44, of Watertown, pled guilty to one count of bank fraud in connection to a scheme to withdraw and spend benefits of a deceased relative, the Attorney’s Office confirmed.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that as a part of her guilty plea, Wetherell admitted to using her deceased relative’s identity and ATM card to withdraw Supplemental Security Income benefits that had been deposited into a relative’s bank account following their death.
At the time of the incident, Wetherell was also receiving Temporary Assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits from the Jefferson County Department of Social Services, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
They say she failed to disclose the money she withdrew from the deceased relative’s account because it would disqualify her from receiving benefits from social services.
The U.S Attorney’s Office says that as part of her plea, Wetherell agreed to pay $85,980.05 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and the Jefferson County Department of Social Services. She has also agreed to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $6,194.
Wetherall’s sentencing has been scheduled for February 9, 2023. The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed in the press release that she is facing a maximum imprisonment term of 30 years, a fine of up to $1,000,000 and a term of supervised release of up to five years.