Houstonian Indicted for Lying About Employment to Collect Social Security Disability
|Sept. 21, 2011|
HOUSTON – A two-count indictment returned by a Houston grand jury under seal charging a Houston man with lying about his employment and his theft of more than $100,000 in Social Security disability benefits has been unsealed following his arrest, United States Attorney Angel José Moreno announced today.
Javier Arreola-Perez, 39, of Houston, was arrested today by agents of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) at his place of employment without incident. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks in Houston.
According to the indictment, on Sept. 7, 2007, Arreola-Perez made a statement on a work activity report form presented to the Social Security Administration representing he did not have employment nor was presently working. The indictment asserts Arreola-Perez’s statement was false - alleging Arreola-Perez was actually working and had been working since approximately August 2002. The second count of the indictment alleges that beginning in August 2003 through May of this year, Arreola-Perez knowingly stole approximately $120,706 in public money, that is, Social Security Act disability payments.
A conviction for making a false statement carries a sentence up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. A conviction for theft of public money carries a sentence up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The United States has filed notice of forfeiture seeking to recover the $120,706.
The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by SSA-OIG. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct and not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.