LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR THEFT OF SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS AND ATTEMPT TO FALSELY OBTAIN U.S. CITIZENSHIP
Boston, Mass... A legal permanent resident, formerly of East Falmouth and Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland, was sentenced today in federal court for theft of social security disability benefits and attempting to falsely obtain U.S. citizenship.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for the Social Security Administration - Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division and Matthew Etre, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Boston Field Division, announced that PETER A. O’SULLIVAN, 52, formerly of East Falmouth, Mass. and Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William G. Young to time served (4 days) to be followed by 2 years of supervised release. O’SULLIVAN was also ordered to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration in the amount of $97,578, and to self-deport to his native country of Ireland, and not to return to the United States without the express permission of the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security. On March 23, 2009, O’SULLIVAN plead guilty to one count of theft of public money and one count of procurement of naturalization contrary to law.
At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the evidence would have proven that O’SULLIVAN, whose country of citizenship is Ireland, obtained legal permanent residence here in the United States. In July of 1995, O’SULLIVAN submitted an application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (“SSDI”) to the Social Security Administration District Office in Danbury, Connecticut. At the time he submitted this application, O’SULLIVAN resided in Connecticut. Based on O’SULLIVAN’s SSDI application, the Social Security Administration began paying O’SULLIVAN monthly SSDI benefits in or about October 1995.
From 1999 onward, O’SULLIVAN completed and submitted false reports to the Social Security Administration, claiming he had not worked since 1996. O’SULLIVAN also falsely claimed that he moved to 24 Dogwood Drive, Sandwich, Massachusetts. Based on the false reports regarding his work status submitted by O’SULLIVAN, the Social Security Administration continued to pay O’SULLIVAN SSDI benefits.
O’SULLIVAN admitted to federal agents during the course of the investigation that he was actually living in Ireland from 1996 until he returned to the United States in or about October 2006. O’SULLIVAN also admitted that he had continuously worked full-time from 1998 until 2006 in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland and that he had also briefly worked in Danbury, Connecticut, at a temp agency for about four to six weeks, in May 2007. As a result of lying to the Social Security Administration, O’SULLIVAN falsely obtained approximately $97,578.00 in SSDI benefits to which he was not entitled.
Additionally, on or about January 12, 2007, O’SULLIVAN applied for U.S. citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. On the written application and during his interview, O’SULLIVAN falsely stated under oath that he had departed the United states on only two occasions for a total of 66 days during the five year requisite period. In fact, between April 16, 2002 and June 15, 2007, O’SULLIVAN had made at least nine trips, totaling 1,615 days, outside of the United States. The longest absence was between April 16, 2002 and January 23, 2005, for 1,012 days, approximately two years and nine months, which indicated that O’SULLIVAN had abandoned his residency in the United States during that period. On April 14, 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied O’SULLIVAN’s application for citizenship.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Social Security Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette E.M. Leoney of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.