wner Charged With Conspiracy
PHILADELPHIA - The United States Attorney's office, as a result of investigations by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), completed ten prosecutions in Fiscal Year 2012 where defendants defrauded the government by receiving Social Security payments to which they were not entitled and were ordered to pay restitution that, collectively, exceeded $1.7 million. The cases, announced by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, Regional Chief Counsel Eric Kressman with the Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel, and Special Agent-in-Charge Michael McGill of the Philadelphia Field Division of the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), are the result of a crackdown on Social Security fraud in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The effort includes two Special Assistant United States Attorneys, Thomas Moshang III and Amanda R. Reinitz, who are on assignment from the Social Security Administration’s Office of General Counsel as part of the joint project between that office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. These Special Assistant United States Attorneys work with the special agents of the SSA-OIG in investigating and prosecuting Social Security fraud cases throughout the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“Every year fraudsters steal millions of dollars from the Social Security without any concern for those actually entitled to benefits under the program,” said Memeger. “Indeed, nearly two million dollars in restitution was ordered last year in this district for fraud schemes involving Social Security. My office will continue to vigorously prosecute these cases so that taxpayer money is used for the purpose intended, that is, providing needed assistance to retirees, disabled workers, and immediate family members of deceased workers.”
“The cases outlined below are a few examples of the Social Security Administration's commitment to rooting out fraud and ensuring the integrity of our system,” said Kressman. “Plain and simple, we want to make sure that the people entitled to benefits are getting them and that those who try to game the system are held accountable. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania has been a leader in this area and the success of the initiative here should serve as a warning to all those who think it's acceptable to abuse our federal programs.”
“I'm gratified at the results of this joint effort, and I want to thank United States Attorney Zane Memeger and Regional Chief Counsel Eric Kressman for their unwavering support,” said McGill. “The SSA-OIG is steadfast in its commitment to combating Social Security fraud, and relies heavily on the cooperation of both the Department of Justice and the Social Security Administration. These results illustrate with remarkable clarity what can be accomplished to preserve Social Security funds for those entitled to them when each of those parties not only commits to combating fraud waste and abuse, but acts on that commitment.”
In addition to the more than $1.7 million dollars in restitution ordered in the last fiscal year, during fiscal year 2010, ordered restitution to the Social Security Administration was $255,341.94, and was $857,844 in fiscal year 2011.
Nationally, in Fiscal Year 2011, there were more than 103,000 allegations of Social Security fraud, with more than 7,000 criminal investigations resulting in 1,374 convictions and more than $410 million in recoveries, fines, restitution, judgments, settlements, and savings.
Recent cases in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania include:
United States v. Richardson
October 22, 2012 - Doris Whitfield Richardson, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to
33 months in prison for taking the Veteran's Affairs and Office of Personnel Management survivor benefits that were earmarked for her grandmother, who died in 1986. Additionally, Richardson did not report this income to the Social Security Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development when she applied for governmental assistance. Richardson pleaded guilty on July 12, 2012 to four counts of conversion of government funds, eight counts of wire fraud and one count of Social Security fraud. Richardson's grandmother was receiving survivor benefits from the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Veteran's Affairs. After she died, Richardson continued to receive, and covert to her own use, the benefits that were in her grandmother's name. To do this, she engaged in a long-running scheme that included opening a P.O. Box and bank accounts in her deceased grandmother's name. The total loss to the government is nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
United States v. Brooker
October 15, 2012 - Beverly Brooker, of Philadelphia, PA, was charged by information with one count of theft of government funds, and one count of Social Security representative payee fraud, in connection with her alleged scheme to collect Retirement Insurance Benefits intended for her deceased mother. According to the information, the defendant concealed her mother’s death from the Social Security Administration in order to collect her mother’s retirement benefits, and allegedly submitted forms to the Social Security Administration in which she falsely stated how she spent the money for the use and benefit of her mother. The information alleges that Brooker received this money from the time of her mother’s death in 1992 until her fraud was discovered in the summer of 2012, resulting to a loss to the government of approximately $261,653.00.
United States v. Warren
September 25, 2012 - Edith Warren, a/k/a “Jourdon Warren-McPherson,” “Jourdon Edith Reed,” “Jourdon Edith Warren-McPherson,” “Edith Reed,” and “Jourdon Edith Warren,” of Philadelphia, PA, was charged by information in connection with her alleged scheme to collect Supplemental Security Income and welfare benefits she was not entitled to receive. Warren is charged with one count of theft of government funds, and one count of Social Security fraud. According to the Information, the defendant concealed her work activity under a second Social Security number, as well as her ownership of two homes, and her marital status, while filing for and receiving Supplemental Security Income, medical assistance, benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and cash assistance benefits. The alleged fraud to the government is $142,354.
United States v. Acciavatti
September 25, 2012 - Michael and Maryann Acciavatti, of Philadelphia, PA, were charged by indictment with multiple counts of wire fraud, social security fraud, and conversion of Government funds. The indictment alleges that for 19 years, from June 1991 until November 10, 2010, Michael and Maryann Acciavatti diverted the survivor’s insurance benefits that were intended for a deceased family member. The Acciavattis took the funds for their own use, resulting in total losses to the government of approximately $152,045.
United States v. Baptiste
September 13, 2012 - Evelyn Baptiste, a/k/a “Evelyn Jenkins,” of Royersford, PA, was sentenced to five years probation, the first six months of which are to be served on home confinement, for theft of government funds and Social Security fraud. Baptiste admitted to running a scheme to collect Supplemental Security Income under one Social Security Number, while working and collecting retirement benefits under a second Social Security Number. In addition to the probationary period, the defendant was ordered to make full restitution of $186,681.06 and pay a $200 special assessment.
United States v. Butcher
August 8, 2012 - Gregory W. Butcher, of West Chester, PA, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release, as well as ordered to pay full restitution to the Social Security Administration of $82,621.60. Butcher defrauded the Social Security Administration by receiving disability insurance benefits while concealing that he was working and earning income, for a period of almost nine years.
United States v. Gause
June 22, 2012 - Hattie Gause, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to five years probation, with the first 10 months to be served on home confinement, and was ordered to pay $87,948 in restitution to the Social Security Administration for fraudulently receiving Social Security benefits. Gause devised a scheme by which she was receiving survivor benefits for a man she was never married to, while also collecting her own retirement benefits under a second Social Security number.United States v. Glass April 25, 2012 - Anthony A. Glass, of Chester, PA, was sentenced to five years probation with the first 18 months to be served on house arrest, and was ordered to pay $241,119.20 in restitution to the Social Security Administration for fraudulently receiving Social Security benefits. Glass was receiving Disability Insurance Benefit payments while concealing that he was working and earning income for a period of about 15 years, using a different name and social security number.
United States v. Martin
March 20, 2012 - Linda Martin, of Leola, PA, was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by five months house arrest and three years supervised release and was ordered to pay $109,817.04 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. Martin, a/k/a “Linda McCarty,” defrauded the government by collecting Supplemental Security Income under one Social Security number, while working and then collecting retirement and survivor benefits under a second Social Security number.
United States v. Starks
January 12, 2012 - Arthur Starks, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $298,705 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. Starks fraudulently received from SSA retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits under a false name and Social Security number, while also collecting RSI benefits under his true name and Social Security number.
An Indictment or Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525