A Fort Dodge man who stole over $15,000 in Social Security benefits from a severely disabled woman was sentenced February 23, 2022, to ten months in federal prison. Donald Glenn Conner, also known as Donald Luevanos, age 38, received the prison term after a September 16, 2021 guilty plea to one count of representative payee fraud.
In a plea agreement, and at his guilty plea and sentencing hearings, Conner admitted that, in March 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) approved his application to become the representative payee for a severely disabled relative. A representative payee is a person whom the SSA entrusts to manage Social Security funds for those who cannot do so due to mental, physical, or other limitations. A doctor had diagnosed Conner’s relative with a severe mental impairment, and she also had a number of other physical health issues. In May 2019, Conner admitted his victim to a local nursing home on the false pretense that she was on Medicaid when she was not. Conner then used his victim’s social security funds for his own purposes, including at a casino, a grocery store, and for videogames, subscription services, and other bills. In March 2020, after the nursing home began asking questions about Conner’s use of his victim’s Social Security funds, Conner abruptly removed his victim from the nursing home against a doctor’s medical advice and left the nursing home with an unpaid bill in excess of $50,000. The investigation also revealed that Conner falsely underreported his household income and received an overpayment of Section 8 federal housing benefits.
Conner was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Conner was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to make $15,499 in restitution. He must also serve a two-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Conner was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy L. Vavricek and investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 21-CR-3027.
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