Dillon Co. woman pleads guilty to theft of government funds

DILLON, SC (WMBF) – Emma Bowens, 62, from Dillon, SC pled guilty in federal court on Wednesday to theft of government funds, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, according to US Attorney Bill Nettles.

United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted Bowens' plea and will impose a sentence after reviewing the pre-sentence report prepared by the US Probation Office.

Evidence that was presented at the change of plea hearing established that Bowens lived with her mother Tenner Townsend who died on May 31, 2010.

Townsend was receiving a monthly Social Security Retirement Insurance benefit, and Bowens failed to report her death.

The Social Security Administration discovered the death in August 2012, and says an overpayment of $23,873. was made.

The maximum penalty Bowens can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for ten years, with a special assessment of $100.

The case against Bowen was investigated by the Social Security Administration, and Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Florence office handled her case.

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