Woman used dead father’s Social Security for Miami Heat tickets, Costco purchases

A Lauderdale Lakes woman who used her dead father’s Social Security benefits for tickets to the Miami Heat, shopping trips to Costco and concerts has been sentenced to five months in prison, the Department of Justice said.

Terri Lynn Hankerson, 59, also will be required to pay restitution for the theft of nearly $50,000, as well as serve five months of home confinement after she’s released from prison.

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According to the Department of Justice, Hankerson’s father received his Social Security benefits in a retirement account by direct depost. Hankerson, a joint owner of the account, did not notify the Social Security Administration about her father’s June 2016 death and continued to use the account until the benefits were suspended in February 2020.

She used nearly $50,000 at concerts, a local strip club, Miami Heat games, Costco, hotels, bars, and other places, according to the Department of Justice.

A federal jury convicted Hankerson after a four-day trial, and the sentence was imposed by Senior United States District Court Judge James I. Cohn.


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