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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 14, 2014

North Carolina Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing Benefit Payments From Social Security Administration

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BOSTON - A North Carolina woman, formerly of Boston, was convicted for stealing more than $179,000 in benefit payments from the Social Security Administration.

Mary Ann Allen, 75, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to theft of public money. Sentencing is scheduled for July 16, 2014.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) began an investigation regarding disability benefit payments that were being paid to a deceased individual since June 1973. In 1983, those benefits were converted into retirement benefits. In 1982, the individual and Allen opened a joint bank account with Bank of America to which the individual’s SSA benefit checks were deposited. The only signatories on the account were the individual and Allen’s. Until November 2009, the SSA continued depositing the individual’s benefits, ranging in installments between $400 and $827, into that account.

Further investigation by the SSA revealed that on August 24, 1984, the individual died. However, because the SSA was not notified of individual’s death, benefit payments were deposited until November 2009. During that period of time the SSA deposited $179,926 into the account. Between August 1984 and November 2009, Allen withdrew these funds in Massachusetts and North Carolina and used them for personal use.

In 2010, Allen was interviewed by SSA agents in North Carolina when she admitted that after the individual’s death she continued to receive his benefit payments and continued to withdraw the funds.

Allen faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and $179,926 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.