An Alabama couple was convicted of Social Security fraud Thursday after testimony revealed that they lied about their incomes to receive benefits.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama announced in a news release Friday that Nakia Palmer, 35, and her husband Nathaniel, 30, were found guilty of fraud and witness tampering.
Nakia Palmer, who worked at the Social Security office in Montgomery, gave a false report to the Social Security office in Dothan stating that she worked as an “actress living in California” and that her husband Nathaniel Palmer had exclusive custody of her son.
“The trial evidence showed that the Palmers lied about their incomes and living arrangements for the purposes of fraudulently obtaining Social Security benefits on behalf of Nakia Palmer’s minor son,” the release states.
The Palmers told similar lies to obtain food stamp benefits. In total, the couple fraudulently obtained $25,000 in benefits, which they used to purchase a new vehicle.
Nakia Palmer was found guilty of food stamp fraud, Social Security benefit fraud, mail fraud, and theft of government property. Nathaniel Palmer was convicted of witness tampering, theft of government property, and mail fraud.
“In carrying out their greedy scheme, the Palmers apparently thought that they were above the law. I hope that this verdict sends the message that the theft of taxpayers’ dollars will not go unpunished,” U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin said.
The Palmers face maximum sentences of up to 20 years in prison and significant fines. A date for sentencing has not yet been finalized.