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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Modesto Woman Indicted For Stealing Social Security Benefits

FRESNO, Calif. — Dorothy Brown, aka Dorothy Hickey, 62, of Modesto, was indicted today by a federal grand jury charging her with stealing benefits paid by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), misrepresenting her eligibility for benefits to the SSA, and concealing material information from the SSA, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to the indictment, Brown misrepresented her true economic resources to the SSA, failing to disclose her savings in multiple bank accounts and the true cost of her living expenses. She also concealed her true living situation from the SSA. As a result, and over the course of nearly four years, Brown received approximately $36,000 in SSA benefits to which she was otherwise not entitled.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Patrick R. Delahunty is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Brown faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The other charges carry maximum statutory penalties of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 8, 2015