Ceres woman arrested for mail fraud, theft of Social Security benefits

Lorene Deanda, 59, of Ceres, was arrested today on an indictment after she was charged by a federal grand jury on December 6, 2018. Deanda is charged with 10 counts of mail fraud and one count of conversion of Social Security benefits. 
According to evidence produced by the Social Security Administration and the FBI, Deanda was employed by a charitable organization in Modesto where she participated and ultimately managed the organization’s representative payee program. This program assisted recipients of Social Security and other federal and state benefits that could not physically manage their own financial affairs.
Deanda, on behalf of the charitable organization, would set up bank accounts for the beneficiaries and receive benefit funds into those accounts and was charged with paying beneficiaries’ bills and necessities from those accounts and benefit funds. Instead of doing this, between April 2009 and May 2015 Deanda allegedly stole money $516,000 from the accounts and used it for her personal expenses. 
If convicted, Deanda faces a maximum statutory penalty for mail fraud of 20 years in prison. No trial date has been set. 

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