San Antonio Couple Sentenced for Claiming Deceased Mother’s Federal Benefits

Nov 2, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio couple was sentenced in federal court today to five years probation and ordered to pay $218,730.60 in restitution for theft of government funds.

According to court documents, Tracy Stephanie Grubbs, 59, failed to report her mother’s death to the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. From January 2011 to December 2018, Grubbs received and negotiated SSA and VA benefit payments intended for her deceased mother. Grubbs would write checks to her husband Gary Lewis Grubbs, 70, who would negotiate the check and use the funds for his own benefit. Both defendants received the same penalty.

“Long term fraud deprives government agencies like the Social Security Administration and the VA of valuable resources,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas.  “My office, along with our law enforcement partners, will continuously pursue these cases to guard vital resources for Americans in need.”

“This sentence holds Ms. Grubbs accountable for deliberately using her deceased mother’s Social Security benefits for years until SSA OIG uncovered a death certificate for her mother; theft of government funds is a federal crime, which we will always aggressively pursue,” said Inspector General Gail S. Ennis for SSA. “I want to thank the VA OIG for its efforts in this investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”

“This sentence sends a clear message that those who would defraud VA programs intended for deserving veterans and their families will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Kris Raper for the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s South Central Field Office. “The VA OIG is grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their efforts to achieve justice in this case.”

The SSA OIG and VA OIG investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Miller prosecuted the case.

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