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8 from Jacksonville accused of stealing Social Security benefits

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2005 file photo, trays of printed social security checks wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management services facility in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2005 file photo, trays of printed social security checks wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management services facility in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Department of Justice has charged nine people from Northeast Florida suspected of collecting more than $1 million in Social Security benefits mistakenly paid to their dead relatives or loved ones.

The nine individuals are among the latest 13 people indicted as part of Operation Dead Ringer, an effort to crack down on those who steal from the Social Security Administration, which has already resulted in charges for 35 people, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Florida’s Middle District said Monday.

Below is a list of those cases:

Lauren McKay, 28, and Leah McKay, 31, both of Jacksonville, face charges of theft of government funds. They’re accused of collecting more than $96,000 in Social Security benefits issued to their mother since she died July 12, 2011.

Donna Sharpe Crowther, 63, of Jacksonville, is charged with theft of government funds. From January 2009 to May 2019, she’s accused of collecting nearly $234,000 in Social Security benefits issued to her husband since his Dec. 15, 2008, death.

Robin Elmore, 44, of St. Augustine, is charged with theft of government funds. She’s accused of collecting more than $63,000 in Social Security benefits issued to her husband since he died Dec. 15, 2008.

Pamela LaTrail Toliver, 62, of Jacksonville, is charged with theft of government funds. The government suspects she collected roughly $52,000 in Social Security benefits that were issued to her mother since her July 27, 2016, death.

Virginia Gay, 48, of Jacksonville, is charged with theft of government funds. Gay is suspected of collecting nearly $100,000 in Social Security benefits that were issued by the government since her mother died May 29, 2013.

Margie Ann Norris-Bell, 62, of Jacksonville, is charged with theft of government funds. From June 2015 to July 2019, she’s accused of collecting roughly $66,000 in Social Security benefits intended for her sister, who died July 26, 2011.

Humeshia Latasha Butler, 63, of Jacksonville, is charged with theft of government funds. Authorities say she collected more than $35,000 Social Security benefits that were issued to her friend following his death Nov. 12, 2013.

If convicted, these individuals face up to 10 years in prison on each count. Their cases are under investigation by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General.