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Press Release

Philadelphia Woman Charged With Lying About Marriage To Get Government Benefits

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA - Roma Gardner-Kunkle, 55, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was charged today by information with one count of theft of government funds, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  The defendant was approved for SSI benefits based on an application she made in February 1987.  In 1995, she married and was obligated to inform the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) of changes to her household composition, household income, and marital status.


According to the information, in December of 2005, during a redetermination interview with SSA, the defendant falsely stated that she had never been married and that she lived alone.  She made the statements in order to receive more Supplemental Security Income benefits than she was entitled to receive.  The defendant’s alleged actions resulted in a loss to the government of approximately $48,071.70.        


If convicted, the defendant faces a possible term of imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, restitution to the government in the amount of $48,071.70, a fine of up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment.


The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda R. Reinitz.


An information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 4, 2016