Teacher Indicted in Scheme to Fraudulently Receive Social Security, Medicaid and Housing Benefits
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Beverly J. Beard, age 52, of Middle River, Maryland, for social security fraud and false statements in connection with a scheme by which Beard received over $180,000 in supplemental security income (SSI), Medicaid and federal housing benefits while working as a full time teacher, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Beard was indicted on March 26, 2008 and arrested today.
According to the four count indictment, in 1969 and 1970, Beard obtained two separate social security numbers. In March 1993, the Social Security Administration (SSA) found Beard eligible for SSI payments based on her claim that she was disabled due to varicose veins in her leg. The disability payments were retroactive to the date of her application in May, 1991. Beard also received Medicaid benefits beginning in 1998 as a result of her eligibility as a SSI recipient. From 1985 until January, 2007, Beard also received housing assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Section 8 program. Beard received these various benefits and payments using one of her Social Security numbers.
From August 31, 1995 until June 14, 2001, Beard was employed as a full-time teacher with the Baltimore City Public Schools. From August 23, 2001 until at least June of 2007, Beard was employed as a full-time teacher with the Baltimore County Public Schools. Beard used her other Social Security number for her employment and her bank accounts in order to conceal her income and employment status from SSA, HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services. Beard is alleged to have falsely reported to HUD and SSA that she had no employment, wages or bank accounts in order to receive more than $180,000 in benefits that she otherwise would not have been entitled to receive.
Beard faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for making false statements and five years in prison for social security fraud. She had her initial appearance in federal district court at 1:45 p.m. today.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the case.