Theft of Social Security Funds Result in Federal Prison Sentence for Eunice Man

Jul 6, 2023

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

LAKE CHARLES, La. – A Eunice, Louisiana man has been sentenced in the Western District of Louisiana for theft of funds from the Social Security Administration, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown.

Scotty Paul Fournerat, 50, was sentenced by United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. to two 37-month terms of imprisonment to run concurrently, followed by two 3-year terms of supervised release which will also run concurrently. In addition, Fournerat was ordered to pay restitution to the SSA in the amount of $49,792.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that M.V., a Title XVI Supplemental Security Income Disability (SSID) program participant and the aunt of Fournerat, failed to appear for a redetermination hearing in October 2017. The SSA subsequently suspended payments to M.V. due to her failure to cooperate with the redetermination. Through their investigation, the SSA learned that M.V. had died on January 2, 2012, some five years earlier, but they were not made aware of her death. SSA determined that two days following M.V.’s death an unidentified individual changed the bank account associated with her account so that the payments would route to Comerica Bank and the payments could be accessible by debit card.

Fournerat admitted to using the debit cards to access the SSID funds for his own personal use by making purchases and ATM withdrawals at various locations in St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes. He admitted that he had not applied for the program funds and that he knew the funds were for the sole use of M.V. while she was alive, but yet he willingly and knowingly used the funds for his own personal benefit. Fournerat pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of government money on March 22, 2023.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danny Siefker.

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