United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Modesto Couple Indicted For Conspiring To Steal Social Security And In-Home Supportive Services Benefits
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, May 31, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against James Giulio Davidson, 56, and Shirley Kay Davidson, aka Shirley Kay Orehn, aka Shirley Day Rehn, aka Shirley Kay Fisher, aka Sharon Guinn, 56, both of Modesto, charging the husband and wife with conspiracy and theft of government property, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
The indictment alleges that from January 2003 to July 2010 the defendants fraudulently obtained more than $64,000.00 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and $63,000.00 in In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) benefits that they were not entitled to receive. According to the indictment, the defendants created a fake person named Sharon Guinn to act as their purported IHSS caretaker. The defendants regularly filled out false time cards for the purported work provided by Sharon Guinn and then cashed the IHSS wages sent to this fake person for their personal use and benefit.
The indictment also alleges that the defendants failed to report this fraudulent source of income to the Social Security Administration (SSA) during redetermination interviews for continued SSI benefits. Further, the defendants also falsely stated to the SSA that they separated in November 2007 when in fact they continued to live together, which increased the amount of SSI benefits they received. As a result of the defendants’ fraudulent conduct, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration lost more than $127,000.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency, Special Investigations Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.
The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of conspiracy is five years in federal prison; the maximum statutory penalty for theft of government property is 10 years in federal prison. The actual sentences, if the defendants are convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.