NEWAYGO, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman from Newaygo defrauded the Social Security Administration out of over half a million dollars using two fake children, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Terrie Lynn Christian, 58, was sentenced Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids to serve two and a half years in prison, three years of supervised release and restitution, the United States Attorney’s Office said in a release.
Christian pleaded guilty on Oct. 27, 2021, to defrauding the Social Security Administration out of over $550,000, the U.S. Attorney said. She did so by obtaining benefits for “two fictitious children.” Authorities say it started in 2002 and was not discovered until 2019.
She also admitted to using the same scheme to defraud the United States Department of Veterans Affairs out of over $109,000 between 2003 and 2019.
“This was a brazen long-term fraud that succeeded as long as it did only because Christian knew how to exploit the safeguards built into these two child-welfare programs for years. Fortunately, law enforcement caught up with her and now she must face the consequences,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in the release.