Woman Sentenced In Government Benefits Ripoff

Date Published: 
January 27, 2014
News Type: 
Program Area(s): 
Public and Indian Housing

(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–A Las Vegas woman who ripped off the unemployment system, public housing authority and Social Security of over $400,000 has been given a nearly 5 year prison term.

Teresa Towns , 50, who pleaded guilty last Fall to various charges involving the theft of government money, has been ordered to pay $477,000 restitution.

Over an eight year period until her arrest last year, prosecutors say Towns used various aliases to establish businesses, falsified wage reports for fake employees, collected jobless benefits for them and used debit cards to cash benefits and use them for her personal expenses.

Prosecutors say she also used a false identity to obtain public housing. She additionally received $40,000 in fraudulently-obtained child insurance from the Social Security Administration.

Towns had been convicted in California of similar fraud in 1991.