Naples woman gets 5-years probation, house confinement in Social Security fraud case
A Naples woman will serve five years on probation and be confined to her home for six months in a case involving the theft of thousands in Social Security benefits.
Linda Jodean Becraft was sentenced Monday before Judge Sheri Polster Chappell in U.S. District Court, Fort Myers, after she earlier pleaded guilty to a federal charge in connection with stealing more than $153,000 in Social Security benefits.
She was among 13 individuals charged in 12 cases in Operation Dead Ringer and indicted in 2020 as part of a statewide investigation for stealing Social Security benefits. She could have received up to 10 years in prison.
Social Security theft:Naples woman charged in theft of $150,000 in Social Security benefits over six years
Becraft was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $152,374.39 and perform 40 hours of community service.
The Naples woman is also listed in the indictment under the names Linda J. Piergentili and Linda J. Wright.
The indictment claimed that from May 2013 to April 2019 Becraft fraudulently collected approximately $152,374 in Social Security benefits following the death of an eligible beneficiary in April 2013.
Funds in that amount were deposited by Becraft as part of her March 3 plea and an order of forfeiture, deposit and disbursement of those funds has been made by the court.
Operation Dead Ringer was initiated in the Middle District of Florida and targeted individuals who steal Social Security benefits inadvertently paid to deceased beneficiaries. There have been 35 individuals charged as part of the operation.