FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - December 5, 2011
RALEIGH MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO THEFT OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday ROBERT BURRELL, JR., 61, pled guilty before United State Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel to theft of government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. According to the Plea Agreement, he has agreed to make restitution to the Social Security Administration in whatever amount the Court may order.
According to the September 16, 2011, Criminal Indictment, BURRELL converted for his own use approximately $336,328.00 in Social Security Administration benefits. According to the investigation, in April, 1990, BURRELL was awarded Social Security benefits. Although the original application for benefits clearly explained BURRELL’s reporting responsibility regarding work (wage or self-employment), he failed to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) that he was working as a self-employed truck driver and owned his own business since at least 1985. Additionally, in his continuing disability review dated January 15, 2001, BURRELL failed to notify SSA of his cleaning business, Service One Janitorial, which started in 1991.
Investigation furthered showed that from 1995 to October, 2010, he operated Burrell Trucking/Burrell Transportation, in which he made all managerial decisions for the business, handled the payroll, and supervised the employees.
According Social Security Administration (SSA) policies, all disability recipients seeking disability payments are advised of their requirement to report any changes in their disability, including any change in their medical condition and ability to work, and to report any employment or self-employment to SSA.
At sentencing, set for March 13, 2012, BURRELL faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening is serving as prosecutor for the government.