Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 60-year-old Philadelphia woman has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for stealing government benefit funds using the name of her deceased grandmother.
Today in federal court, the defense sought leniency for the nearly wheelchair-bound defendant, Doris Whitfield Richardson, arguing that she didn’t live a lavish lifestyle and suggesting instead that she was desperate, caring for two young adult grandchildren, one of whom is disabled.
But Judge Paul Diamond challenged Whitfield Richardson’s excuses.
(Judge Diamond:) “Did it ever occur to you to go out and get a job?
(Whitfield Richardson:) “I did want a job.”
(Diamond:) “You stole close to a quarter of a million dollars. Did it ever occur to you that the way to help your grandchildren was not commit an endless series of federal frauds?”
(Whitfield Richardson:) “I see that now.”
(Whitfield Richardson:) “I see it. I didn’t see it that way.”
The scheme to collect her late grandmother’s veterans’ survivor benefits went on for over two decades, until a tip ended it.
Judge Diamond ordered Whitfield Richardson taken into custody immediately.