Placeholder Banner Image

News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

April 9, 2014

Johnston Resident Pleads Guilty to Credit Card Fraud,
Aggravated Identity Theft, Social Security Fraud

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Henry A. Fellela, Jr., 56, of Johnston, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Tuesday to charges that he fraudulently obtained the identity of a Smithfield resident and using that person’s identity and credit card to purchase more than $3,000 worth of goods. In addition, Fellela pleaded guilty to charges that he fraudulently obtained more than $58,000 in Supplemental Social Security benefits by falsely claiming he had no permanent home address while living with his wife and children in Johnston.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Fellela pleaded as charged in a five-count indictment returned in July 2013 with one count each of credit card fraud, aggravated identity theft and Social Security fraud, and two counts of theft of government funds.

Fellela’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Smithfield Police Chief Richard P. St. Sauveur, Jr.; and Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

According to information presented to the court, an investigation by U.S. Postal Inspectors and Smithfield Police revealed that Fellela stole the identity of a Smithfield resident and used that person’s identity and credit card to make numerous purchases including electronic goods and clothing totaling $3,077.13.

In addition, according to information presented to the court, an investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations determined that from March 2004, approximately three months after Fellela was released from federal prison to begin serving a 21-month term of supervised release on an unrelated matter, and continuing until about June 1, 2012, Fellela collected Supplemental Social Security benefits totaling $58,207.34 after falsely reporting that he had no permanent address at the time he applied for and received the benefits.

Fellela, who was released on $50,000 unsecured bond to home incarceration with electronic monitoring following his arrest in July 2013, faces statutory penalties of up 10 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release and a fine $250,000 on the charge of credit card fraud; up to 10 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release and a fine $250,000 on each charge of theft of government property; 5 years imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on the charge of Social Security fraud; and 2 years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft, to be served consecutive to all other sentences imposed. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.

###

To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/

 

Contact: 401-709-5357
USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101

USAO RI Twitter

Stay Connected: Visit us on Twitter

Federal Child Support Enforcement

judge's gavel

Learn More

Information

How to File a Complaint

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.