Sioux City Man Sentenced for Theft of Government Funds

Feb 15, 2024

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

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Steven M. Woodall, 64, of South Sioux City, Nebraska, was sentenced February 14, 2024, in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska for theft of government funds. Senior United States District Court Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Woodall to four years of probation. Woodall is also required to pay restitution in the amount of $50,540.

Woodall applied for benefits from the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Benefits Administration. Based in part on statements provided by Woodall, he was determined to be 100% disabled due to being legally blind and he began receiving benefits. Law enforcement agents discovered Woodall maintained a Nebraska driver’s license during the period when he was received disability benefits due to blindness. As they investigated his claims, the agents further discovered that Woodall had obtained a Nebraska concealed handgun carry permit. That permit requires the person to possess at least the same level of sight as is required to obtain a driver’s license, and the person must pass a written test and a shooting test to demonstrate accuracy with a firearm. Local police reports also listed Woodall as a witness to a few events reported to police in South Sioux City, Nebraska. During surveillance, agents regularly observed Woodall driving and walking around without difficulty and without any aids.

An eye examination was performed on August 13, 2020, to determine Woodall’s eligibility for benefits. Woodall was observed by agents driving approximately 86 miles from his home in South Sioux City, Nebraska to the facility where the eye exam was to take place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The agents also observed his wife riding as a passenger in the vehicle. Woodall drove to the facility without any apparent difficulty, parked his car, and then walked to the front door and into the facility without any assistance or aids. During the eye exam, Woodall reported that due to his blindness, he was unable to drive.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

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