A woman from Oswego County, NY received a sentence of two years in prison for stealing disability benefits meant for her deceased son. Lisa Waldron of Palermo was sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes on Tuesday after pleading guilty in April to 11 charges of theft of government property following a federal indictment in December 2022.
In May 2021, Waldron’s son Jordan Brooks, a 17-year-old, who had Cerebral Palsy passed away. According to authorities, he died of malnourishment and sepsis. His bones were exposed, and he had developed bedsores. His wheelchair was rusted, urine-stained, and moldy.
Following Jordan’s death Waldron continued to receive benefits on his behalf. Waldron used the SSI benefits to pay for her personal expenses. Among other things, she paid for a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC using the benefits according to the prosecution.
Waldron, who was charged with murder in connection with her son’s death in July 2022, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault earlier this summer, just weeks before her trial date. Waldron’s sentencing is scheduled for September 28th. Her husband Anthony Waldron, who is also charged with murder in Brooks’ killing, is scheduled to go on trial in October.
Fraud charges involving disability benefits are rare. Former Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael J. Astrue estimated that less than 1% of disability claims are fraudulent.
Jordan will never celebrate another holiday, or birthday, or graduate from high school. His mother shouldn’t have continued to use his disability benefits for personal gain. Fraud, while rare, still affects people who depend on benefits to help them live. Fraud cases like this one are particularly egregious because Waldron’s negligence led to Jordan’s death.
Benny, Michael. “Accountability in the Death of Jordan Brooks, Oswego County Teen with Cerebral Palsy.” WSTM, WSTM, 29 Mar. 2022, https://cnycentral.com/news/local/accountability-in-the-death-of-jordan-brooks.
Longley, Dave. “Lisa Waldron Sentenced to 2 Years in Federal Prison for Stealing Dead Son’s Disability Benefits.” WSYR, ABC, 19 Sept. 2023, http://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/lisa-waldron-sentenced-to-2-years-in-federal-prison-for-stealing-dead-sons-disability-benefits/amp/.
Roach, Lonnie. “The Misperception of Social Security Disability Fraud.” Bemis, Roach & Reed, 6 June 2022, https://www.brrlaw.com/social-security-disability-fraud/.