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Woman goes to prison for stealing Aids for Friends funds

POCATELLO, Idaho - A Chubbuck woman is going to prison for theft of government property.

Barbara E. Waters, 61, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Pocatello to five months in prison followed by five months of home detention and three years of supervised release. Judge N. Randy Smith of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting by designation as a district court judge, also ordered Waters to pay restitution of $88,390.

Waters was working as manager of the Aid for Friends Representative Payee Program, in which the Social Security Administration sends payments for beneficiaries to Aid for Friends. Aid for Friends then administers the funds and pays for the beneficiary's personal expenses.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho said Waters had signing authority on the Aid for Friends Social Security Administration trust account at Wells Fargo Bank, where all beneficiaries' Social Security funds are deposited. Waters admitted that from January 2006 to December 2010, she wrote checks on the trust account, without authorization, for personal expenses, including cash and credit card bills totaling $82,882.

Waters also agreed to pay $5,500 in audit and investigative expenses to Aid for Friends.

She pleaded guilty in August.

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