Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2007                                                                    PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                                   CELL: (409) 553-9881




MARSHALL, TX—United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a Marshall, Texas couple has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud in the Eastern District of Texas
THOMAS BURNS, 56, and MATTIE BURNS, 52, both pleaded guilty today to felony charges of Theft of Government Property before United States Magistrate Judge Chad Everingham. 

According to information presented in court, from November 2001 through March 2005, the couple both concealed Thomas Burns’ employment with an oil field service in Elysian Fields, Texas and a petroleum consultant service in Longview with the intent to fraudulently receive Thomas Burns’ Social Security disability payments.  Both defendants knowingly allowed Thomas Burns to be paid under Mattie Burns’ name and social security number.  The theft resulted in a loss of over $83,000.00.
Thomas Burns and Mattie Burns each face up to ten years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00 at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set. 

            This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Noble.