A Lincoln woman has been sentenced to probation and house arrest for fraudulently collecting thousands of dollars of her uncle's Social Security benefits, U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly announced Thursday.
Dawn D. Clover, 54, pleaded guilty to conversion of another's Social Security benefits.
Chief U.S. District Judge John Gerrard sentenced her Thursday to four years of probation, plus six months and 12 weekends of home detention. He also ordered Clover to pay $30,470.86 in restitution.
Kelly said investigators found that Clover had inappropriately taken $32,072.86 of her uncle's Social Security disability payments from July 2013 to October 2017, before she was removed as her uncle's representative payee.
He said Clover used the money to pay herself a monthly rent fee while her uncle was not living with her and paid for personal vacations.
She came under suspicion after state health officials notified an area care center that her uncle's coverage had not been appropriately switched from Medicare to Medicaid, a Lancaster County Sheriff's Office investigator said in court documents.
The man hadn't been paying his share of the cost for the nursing home coverage, investigators said, and staff became concerned, because he would still be receiving Social Security payments but they didn't know where that money was going.
He was first admitted to the nursing home for a short-term rehabilitation stay in July 2013, which was covered by Medicare, the investigator said. But he ended up staying longer, which should have been covered by Medicaid.
Clover was named the man's court-ordered guardian in 2012 and had an agreement allowing her to withdraw a fixed amount of money to cover living expenses when he was staying with her.