BRIDGEPORT WOMAN WHO ILLEGALLY RECEIVED MORE THAN $93,000 IN SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS IS SENTENCED
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut,announced that MARIA LOPEZ, also known as Maria Colon, 69, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill to three years of probation, the first four months of which LOPEZ must spend in home confinement, for her illegal receipt of more than $93,000 in Social Security Disability benefits.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 1993, LOPEZ, while using the name Maria Colon, began to receive Social Security Disability Income benefits after it was determined that she was disabled and unable to work. In 1994, LOPEZ went back to work using the name Maria Lopez, but still collected the disability income benefits that she was no longer eligible to receive. Between 1994 and 2009, LOPEZ received a total of $93,358 in government benefits to which she was not entitled.
On April 26, 2012, LOPEZ pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.
LOPEZ has been ordered to make full restitution to the government. To date, the Social Security Administration has recovered approximately $51,000 from LOPEZ.
This matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael E. Runowicz.
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