WV DHHR caseworker in Logan County admits to filing fake claims, - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV DHHR caseworker in Logan County admits to filing fake claims, pocketing more than $58,000 in benefits

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A former caseworker in Logan, West Virginia, has admitted to filing fake claims to more than $58,000 in government benefits from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Shannon Collins, 41, of Logan, pleaded guilty Monday, July 21, in U.S. District Court in Charleston to defrauding DHHR.

Collins, also known as Shannon Varney, worked in DHHR’s Logan County office.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Collins used Social Security numbers of two dead people to set up bogus accounts in 2009 that she used to submit claims and then had the benefit checks mailed to her. She also obtained Mountain State Cards, formerly known as food stamps, which she used from April through December of 2009.

She faces up to 30 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $500,000 at sentencing, which is set for Oct. 29.

The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia DHHR, assisted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Offices of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Agriculture. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik S. Goes is handling her prosecution.