Former Oregon Resident Pleads Guilty to Fraud
PORTLAND, Ore. – A former resident of Pacific City pleaded guilty in federal court today to stealing more than $70,000 from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), and Medicaid. Peter C. Byrne, 87, admitted before U.S. District Court Judge Garr M. King that between 1992 and 2012, he concealed from SSA and DHS his travels outside the United States and his compensation, while receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps. Sentencing is scheduled for December 3, 2013, at 10:30 a.m.
According to documents filed by the government and Byrne’s admissions today, Byrne began receiving SSI in 1990 and was required to report to SSA certain travel outside the United States, as well as his income and compensation. Between 1992 and 2012, Byrne traveled outside the U.S. for more than 30 days at least 15 times, on some occasions remaining outside the U.S. for more than four months. Between 2009 and 2012, Byrne also maintained bank accounts with Barclays of England and Wells Fargo where he held more than $85,000 at one time, and failed to disclose these bank accounts to SSA and DHS. When Byrne was questioned by SSA and investigators in 2012, he failed to disclose all of his travels and assets. When SSA asked to see his passport, Byrne advised that he had accidentally destroyed his passport by running it through the washing machine.
The plea agreement requires Byrne to pay restitution to SSA, DHS, and Health and Human Services. Byrne has deposited $25,000 with the court to be applied towards restitution immediately following sentencing.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Helen L. Cooper, as part of a partnership venture between the Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel and the United States Attorney’s Office.