Woman collected $145,000 in jobless benefits using names of death row inmates Scott Peterson, Cary Stayner, and Darrell Porter before the murder of Meredith Kercher The men committed the murder in the spring of 2017.
A woman collecting $145,000 in jobless benefits using the names of death row inmates Scott Peterson, Cary Stayner and Darrell Porter before the murder of 23-year-old Meredith Kercher is now facing a fraud charge, which accuses her of using her status as a federal employee to make money from the taxpayers.
In a court filing on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called fraud against the government, particularly against the Department of Veterans Affairs, “the most dangerous crime in America.”
“Americans will be hard-pressed to find an act more morally reprehensible than deceiving federal, state, and local government for your own enrichment,” Sessions wrote. “This type of criminality is difficult to detect, but when it is discovered, it is especially devastating.”
The filing came less than two weeks after Sessions announced that new penalties would be imposed on fraud committed by federal employees, including one for death row inmates who use their government-issued credentials to collect government benefits.
The death row inmates accused of the fraud are the same men accused of killing Kercher, but the VA said the man accused of the crime was using the VA’s healthcare.
In the filing, Sessions also called on the government to investigate whether the woman is a federal employee, “a person who represents the federal government and whose primary duty is the performance of a government-defined function.”
The woman, who is a government employee and lives in Mississippi, is facing five felony counts, including forgery and misuse of a social security number. She is currently being held at the Forrest County, Mississippi, jail, according to federal authorities.
The woman, who was arrested by authorities in Mississippi on Monday and charged on Wednesday with fraud, is accused of using her status as a federal employee to collect $145,000 in unemployment benefits between November 2014 and June 2016 using the names and identities of death row