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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 9, 2015

Modesto Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing $127,000 In Government Benefits

FRESNO, Calif. —James Giulio Davidson, 59, resident of Modesto, California, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to steal government benefits, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. 

According to the plea agreement and court documents, Davidson and his deceased wife and former co-defendant, Shirley Kay Davidson, stole more than $64,000.00 in Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits and $63,000.00 in In-Home Supportive Services (“IHSS”) from approximately January 2003 to July 2010.  Shirley Kay Davidson created a fake person named Sharon Guinn to act as her and James Davidson’s purported IHSS caretaker.  James and Shirley Davidson regularly filled out false time cards for the purported work provided by Sharon Guinn and then cashed the IHSS wages sent to this fake person for their personal use and benefit. Further, James and Shirley Davidson failed to report this fraudulent source of income to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) during redetermination interviews for continued SSI benefits. Additionally, James and Shirley Davidson stated to the SSA that they separated in November 2007 when in fact they continued to live together, which increased the amount of SSI benefits they received.  

This case was the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Michael Tierney are prosecuting the case.

Davidson is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on April 20, 2015. Davidson faces a maximum statutory penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 1:12-cr-00168-AWI
Updated April 8, 2015