Six Kentuckians plead guilty in SSI fraud case

Six Kentuckians pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding state and federal benefit programs out of a collective $450,000, according to Kyle Edelen, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Lexington.

The defendants pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to Supplemental Security Income fraud in federal court, Edelen said Tuesday in a news release.

The six Kentuckians were Diana Lynn Rice, 66, of Webbville; Ila Jean Rose, 57, of Olive Hill; Granvell Windfred Ramey, 73, of Catlettsburg; Junia Kay Ratliff, 66, of West Liberty; Randall Dale Ratliff, 74, of West Liberty; and Linda Lou Tackett, 73, of Grayson.

The defendants admitted that they fraudulently obtained benefits from the Social Security Administration and, in some instances, the Medicaid program.

Some of the defendants told Social Security investigators that they had divorced or separated from their spouses even though they were living with their spouses and sharing living expenses, Edelen said.

SSI is a program designed to provide financial assistance to elderly and disabled people who meet the program's eligibility requirements. Medicaid is a state-federal program for the poor, elderly and disabled.

The defendants would not have been eligible for benefits — or their eligibility would have been reduced — if they had been truthful about their status.