Florence woman sentenced for taking $146K in fraudulent ice storm benefits

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – A Florence woman was sentenced Thursday for filing false applications for financial aid after the 2014 ice storm.

In a press release, US Attorney Beth Drake says Roselyn Goodrum, 47, of Florence, was sentenced to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy regarding the administration of farm-related disaster benefits.  Goodrum was also ordered to pay over $146,000 in restitution.

US District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence presided over the hearing.  Goodrum pled guilty to the charges September 1, 2016.

Officials say Goodrum was in charge of the Farm Service Agency’s  Florence office from 2006 through 2014.  In February 2014, Ice Storm Pax caused extensive damage to farms in the Pee Dee.  As a result, farmers could make claims to the FSA for financial assistance to clean up their land.

The press release says Goodrum filed multiple false applications in the names of family members who were not entitled to these benefits, enriching herself and others.  After FSA employees discovered the theft and suspended her, Goodrum re-entered the office and shredded incriminating documents.  Overall, she took $146,401 in fraudulent benefits.

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Department of Agriculture and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Winston Holliday.