Ex-Martin mayor convicted of disability fraud

MARTIN, Ky. (AP) - A former eastern Kentucky mayor and her daughter have been convicted in a federal disability fraud case.

Media report a jury found 69-year-old Ruth Thomasine Robinson, the former mayor of Martin in Floyd County, and her daughter, 42-year-old Rita Christine Whicker, guilty on Tuesday on counts of conspiracy, fraud, theft of disability benefits and identity theft. Whicker is the former director of the community center in the city, which has a population of 600.

Another woman, 42-year-old Ginger Michelle Halbert, who worked for Robinson, pleaded guilty before the trial started to charges of conspiracy, theft of benefits and identity theft. Prosecutors said the three took part in a scheme to secretly pay Halbert so she could continue to receive federal disability benefits.

Charges against city bookkeeper Ethel Clouse were dismissed.

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