ASHLAND — An Ashland, Ky., couple has been convicted by a jury of crimes related to a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Kentucky Medicaid Program, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of 15 years.
Diana Lynn Ball, 57, was convicted on Wednesday of one count of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fraud, one count of Medicaid fraud, one count of theft of government property and one count of making a false statement. Her husband, Lawrence Ball, was convicted of one count of making a false statement.
Evidence at the trial established that, from 1996 until December of 2013, Diana Ball intentionally concealed her true living arrangement from the SSA, in order to fraudulently collect SSI and Medicaid benefits.
According to testimony, Ball repeatedly told the SSA she had separated from her husband and was not sharing living expenses. In reality, Ball had been living with her husband and was receiving financial support from him. Had the SSA been aware of the true living arrangement, Ball would not have been eligible to receive approximately $280,000 in benefits. Diana Ball claimed an insanity defense at trial.
SSI is an income assistance program designed to provide financial assistance to elderly and disabled individuals who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Kentuckians who are eligible for SSI also qualify for benefits under the Kentucky Medicaid Program.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Guy P. Fallen, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, jointly announced the conviction.
The investigation was conducted by the SSA, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura K. Voorhees is prosecuting this case on behalf of the federal government.
Sentencing for the defendant is scheduled for November. The charges carry a maximum of five years in prison. However, the court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes before imposing a sentence.