HOUMA MAN IS SENTENCED FOR THEFT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS
MARK PELLEGRIN, age 53, a resident of Schriever, Louisiana, was sentenced by the Honorable Jay C. Zainey to five (5) years probation with ten (10) months of his term to be served under home confinement for his fraudulent receipt of Social Security Administration Disability Benefits, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
PELLEGRIN pled guilty last year to a one count bill of information for theft of government funds. According to the court documents, on or about September 29, 1995, PELLEGRIN began receiving Social Security Disability Benefits. From on or about September 29, 1995 until on or about January 12, 2011, PELLEGRIN represented to the Social Security Administration that he was unable to maintain gainful employment because of his disability. PELLEGRIN was aware that he was required to inform the Social Security Administration if he became employed.
However, on or about September 13, 2005, PELLEGRIN became employed and continued to be gainfully employed to present. PELLEGRIN admitted that he did not tell the Social Security Administration about his employment and was paid in cash to prevent the Social Security Administration from learning of his employment and discontinuing his benefit checks because his earnings were greater than the disability threshold amounts set by the Social Security Administration. The total loss to the government from PELLEGRIN’s fraud was $75,145.60 which PELLEGRIN was ordered to repay at a rate of $500 a month.
The case was investigated by the United States Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org