EUGENE, OR -- a Madras woman was convicted in federal court, Tuesday, of stealing from people she was supposed to be helping. Tayva Tucker pleaded guilty to one count of Theft of Government Funds, for stealing nearly $40,000 dollars in Social Security benefits from 10 mentally disabled adults.
Tucker began working for a Madras social services organization in March of 2014. Part of her job was to use her clients' Social Security benefits to pay for their current and future care. As the "representative payee" on their bank accounts, she had access to their funds because they were deemed unable to manage their own finances. A 2016 organizational audit revealed funds transfers from her clients' accounts to her own. When confronted, Tucker admitted to taking the money for her own personal use.
Her plea deal requires restitution of the $39.277 she stole. She also faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of post-prison supervision. Sentencing is scheduled in U.S. District Court in Eugene April 25.