DETROIT (AP) – A judge has ordered no prison for a southeastern Michigan woman linked to nearly $224,000 in illegal disability benefits from the federal government.

Prosecutors recommended a year in custody for Phyllis Adkins, but federal Judge Stephen Murphy III put her on probation for three years Friday.

Despite many six-figure frauds, people caught stealing from the Social Security system rarely get a prison sentence in eastern Michigan.

For nearly nine years, Adkins collected disability benefits while working under a different Social Security number. Separately, benefits were paid in her daughter’s name based on Adkins’ disability record.

Adkins must repay about $224,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Particka called it “blatant, intentional” fraud.

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  1. SO WRONG I have a sixty year old friend who got on disability because she basically could not get a job, so she exaggerated her mental illness, which existed but had never prevented her from working and she got disability. Since then she can work part time earning up to 800 a month plus she gets 1500 in disability. She’s done that for 15 years now. She often has more money than I do, pays no tax and gets VA benefits even though she was in the military for a total of three weeks. Sometimes I think the system is really broken. As a mental health counselor I wanted to work with VA vets but was told sorry since you’re not a VA vet and since you’re not a social worker we cannot let you work helping others, but then they don’t offer any one-one-one counseling or even many groups at the VA so you wonder, what is the point of a rule like that? Likewise with disability. I know people who desperately need it and I know those who abuse it. I don’t know what the answer is, other than if it’s true 35 percent of jobs are going to be replaced by robots within our life time we may start wondering, what are people who cannot get jobs supposed to do? Then again stealing is WRONG

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