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April 3, 2011

Detroit's Granny Valjean gets probation and home confinement for Social Security fraud

Last week I asked in this post what would seem a fitting federal sentence for an elderly woman who fraudulently received nearly $120,000 in Social Security benefits over a 20-years period and used the funds to raise and support her grandkids.  Here is the news report on her actual sentencing:

In the end, the judge showed her mercy.  Mary Alice Austin, a Detroit grandmother who admitted she stole from the government because she needed money to help raise her five grandchildren, avoided a prison sentence Friday when a federal judge gave her probation instead.  But Austin will have to pay back $119,000 in restitution and will serve four months in home confinement on a tether.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts issued the sentence after Austin, 67, pleaded for her freedom.  She faced 10-16 months in prison for unlawfully receiving her son's disability checks while he was in prison.  "Please understand me. Please," a frail-looking Austin said at her sentencing.

Austin told the judge she still has a mentally ill son in an institution to look after.  She also talked about the struggles she faced in raising five grandchildren and said desperate times forced her to make a bad choice.  "I am remorseful," Austin said.  "I got scared.  I got very scared."

According to court records, Austin paid someone to pose as her mentally ill son so she could continue receiving his disability benefits while he was in prison.  From 1990 to 2009, Austin received nearly $120,000 in benefits -- about $6,000 a year, records show....

At Austin's sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Blondell Morey conceded Austin doesn't present a threat to the public but pushed for prison time.  "I think basically Ms. Austin is a good woman, but she did some bad things. ... And she needs to be punished."

April 3, 2011 at 06:53 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Taxpayers thank the judge. In prison, at that age, with her frailties, she could have generated $120,000 in health costs each year. The taxpayer also received a bargain in her crime. Had the children gone into the "System," their costs would have far exceeded the amount stolen. We got a bargain and a decent outcome in the children.

The sentence should have been a $25 fine and a pat on the back for a job well done. The judge should have assessed legal costs to the personal assets of the district attorney for bringing this case. Not only could prison time cost more than the crime, it would have occupied a prison bed better suited for an illegal alien who has people beheaded if they disrespect him. This district attorney should work elsewhere than as a federal prosecutor. Even a grandmother headed family must be crushed and "punished."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 3, 2011 7:28:08 AM

In a crime, a harm should take place. In this case a tremendous benefit did. Yes, a lie took place, but to the great benefit of the taxpayer. This is an example illustrating that when dealing with an enemy, there is a duty to lie and mislead. The government, run by the vile feminist lawyer, with 99% of policy decisions made by lawyers, is in an all out attack on the American family. Family, church, schools are all sources of authority in competition with the government out to crush them all, to the great detriment of children. I don't care if I am expelled from this blog for being repetitive, but the situation of attacks on the family by the lawyer is endlessly repetitive. So the reply must be repetitive.

The prosecution for lying is pretextual, and in bad faith. It implies loyalty to government paper work takes precedence over the upbringing of children, family preservation, and saving the taxpayer a lot of money. "Paper work" is code for lawyer employment, i.e. money benefit to the lawyer, making the prosecution one in bad faith. The prosecution is itself a lie. It is for lying to the government, but is really for threatening lawyer employment. Such fraud in the private sector would subject the party to exemplary damages. That is why all self-dealt governmental immunities must end by an Amendment. To deter.

This is self-evident to an average person with a high school education. The lawyer has no idea what I am talking about, nor will ever be able to grasp it. As a collateral benefit, government tort liability will be the fastest way to shrink government and to end its takeover of the economy. Liability shrinks the entire enterprise, and immunity grows it. The tenacity of the lawyer is one of someone preserving employment.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 3, 2011 12:05:14 PM

will have to go wtih you on this one SC. Any other way this had went the children would have become wards of the state and cost a hell of a lot mroe than 120k

plus i agree if the state had been retarded enough to give her jail time even if NOTHING went wrong medically they were looking at 20-50k a YEAR in inprisonment costs... then could get to add all the medical requirements a 67+ year old grandmother stuck into a prison for the crime of helping her grandchildren would develope.

the mind boggles on what THAT would cost!

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 3, 2011 1:09:30 PM

Thanks. Appreciate a little support for viewpoint from Earth. I expect to be banned from this blog.

The judge had an opportunity to exercise judgment after guidelines became discretionary. He missed an opportunity to strike for family, utility, tax saving, and to deter the bad faith of an over-reaching prosecutor, an all out enemy of the public interest.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 3, 2011 1:41:27 PM

I am embarrassed for the prosecutor. Or by the prosecutor. I think the latter. I agree with SC. And Rod Smith. Surely the E.D. Mich. has better things to do.

Posted by: Grotius | Apr 3, 2011 5:15:16 PM

It should become part of discretion, a duty, to maintain the charade, if a crime actually benefits the public interest. Even after discovery of the crime, no one should tell the criminal. Let the criminal continue the crime to continue to benefit the public interest. The Supreme Court has endorsed the use of lies and fraud by the government to entrap criminals. The same should be allowed and due to serve the public interest.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 3, 2011 6:49:55 PM

The prosecutor's notion that only imprisonment counts as "punishment" is commonly held, but false. Having a federal felony record, being confined to your home, and being supervised on probation are all punishments.

Posted by: Peter G | Apr 3, 2011 11:58:58 PM

Thanks for your share,thanks a lot.Good luck!

Posted by: Big pony | Apr 11, 2011 6:01:33 AM

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