Naples woman charged in theft of $150,000 in Social Security benefits over six years

Michael Braun
 
| Fort Myers News-Press

A Naples woman is among more than a dozen people indicted as part of a statewide investigation for stealing Social Security benefits.

Federal charges were filed Monday against Linda Becraft, 65. She was among 13 individuals charged in 12 cases in Operation Dead Ringer.

The individuals are alleged to have stolen more than $1 million in benefits paid by the Social Security Administration on behalf of beneficiaries who were deceased.

If convicted, Becraft, who is currently employed by the School District of Lee County, and the others each faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment on each count. 

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The indictment claims that from May 2013 to April 2019 Becraft fraudulently collected approximately $152,374 in Social Security benefits following the death of an eligible beneficiary in April 2013.

Operation Dead Ringer was initiated in the Middle District of Florida and targeted individuals who steal Social Security benefits inadvertently paid to deceased beneficiaries. There have been 35 individuals charged as part of the Operation.

These cases are being investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from other federal and local law enforcement agencies. 

Connect with breaking news reporter Michael Braun: MichaelBraunNP (Facebook)@MichaelBraunNP (Twitter) or mbraun@news-press.com.

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