An Atlanta woman convicted in January of defrauding Aflac out of $27,000 cried out Tuesday as a federal judge sentenced her to nine months in prison.
Veronica R. Kirk Scott was convicted of one count of health care fraud. She was the only person out of 27 defendants in the fraud cause to opt for a trial, said defense attorney Stacey Jackson.
Prosecutors said in court documents that Scott had Aflac policies and got advice on how to submit fraudulent claims. Scott submitted her claim in 2008.
On Tuesday, Scott wept throughout her sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land. She cried out when Land sentenced her to nine months and yelled “No” when the judge suggested he might place her into custody that day.
Land ultimately opted to allow Scott to remain free until the federal Bureau of Prisons orders her to report for her sentence.
“I never thought my life would be where it is right now,” Scott said. “All I can say is, I pray you have mercy on me.”
Scott’s words then grew unintelligible, and she muttered something about trusting the wrong people.
Land said Scott sent him a letter after her conviction asserting her innocence.
Jackson argued his client shouldn’t be punished by going to trial, and he asked Land for only six months’ incarceration or home confinement. Scott has an 8-month-old child.
Prosecutors said that a majority of those involved in the fraud case got six-month sentences – credit for admitting their role and pleading guilty.