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Jun 15, 2012 8:56 AM by AP

Man sentenced for defrauding Social Security

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a 59-year-old man to a year in prison for defrauding the Social Security Administration.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says Herman Smith, of Keatchie, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Thomas Stagg, who also ordered him to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $20,159 in restitution to the federal agency.

Finley's office says Smith, in early 2001, began acting as a caretaker for a man who used a wheelchair. At some point, the disabled man arranged for the SSA to mail his benefit checks to Smith. When the man died in 2003, Smith failed to notify the SSA.

Finley says Smith, for more than eight years after the man's death, forged his signature and continued to receive the man's benefits.

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