Former Richmond Social Services caseworker pleads guilty to diverting benefits to herself

Crime

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A former caseworker at the Richmond Department of Social Services plead guilty to committing mail fraud to divert income and food-related benefits to herself, according to the Department of Justice.

Court documents say that De’Nisha Juanita Wilson, 47, was a caseworker for the Richmond Department of Social Services. During her time there, she assisted with and oversaw beneficiaries getting their benefits, so she had access to the state and city systems which had their personal information.

In May of 2019, court documents said one of Wilson’s clients, a young mother collecting benefits for her five children, died in a car accident. After her death, the former caseworker accessed the late mother’s personal identifying information, helped issue new prepaid benefits cards and directed the cards to herself.

The Justice Department said Wilson diverted more than $13,000 to herself, $8,000 of which was used on food, entertainment and other personal expenses. This scheme was “halted” in January 2020, according to court documents.

Wilson’s sentencing date is set for Oct. 18, and she is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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