A former DHS worker has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for tricking the U.S. Labor Department into sending her a disabled adult's benefit checks after he died.
Katharine Anne Daugherty, 57, of Bethany, pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced her Wednesday in federal court in Oklahoma City.
She was an adult protective services specialist IV at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
As part of her job, she oversaw the finances of a former Federal Aviation Administration worker who was injured on the job in 1976 and admitted to a nursing home in 2009.
She admitted in her guilty plea that she took several fraudulent steps to get the man's monthly benefit checks after he died in March 2010. She admitted, for instance, that she told the Labor Department the man was still alive.
She said she spent some of the money for her personal benefit.
The checks would have stopped if the Labor Department had been notified of the death.
The Labor Department issued checks totaling more than $27,000 after the death before the scheme was uncovered, prosecutors said.
The federal government recovered thousands of dollars that Daugherty had not yet spent, her defense attorney said.
She was ordered to pay $5,451 in restitution to the U.S. Labor Department for the fraud.
She also was ordered to pay $1,985 in restitution to a Midwest City woman. Prosecutors said that restitution involves theft from another victim under DHS care.
Daugherty worked at DHS from December 1979 to June 1985 and again from November 1986 to August 2011.
She was ordered to report to prison by Feb. 4.
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