New Jersey Woman Charged With Stealing Government Funds
PHILADELPHIA - Maria Houck, 59, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was charged by indictment, unsealed yesterday, with 12 counts of mail fraud, two counts of theft of government funds, and one count of Social Security fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the indictment, the defendant received retirement and pension benefits from the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs that were intended for her deceased mother, after her mother’s death in June 2005. The defendant’s alleged actions resulted in a loss to the Social Security Administration of approximately $54,399 and a loss to the Department of Veterans Affairs of approximately $110,354, for a total loss to the government of approximately $164,753.
If convicted, the defendant faces a substantial period of incarceration, restitution of $164,753 to the government, three years of supervised release, and possible fines.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda R. Reinitz.