Acton Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing Social Security Benefits
Defendant stole more than $74,000 in Social Security benefits intended for her children who were no longer in her custody
BOSTON – An Acton woman pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to stealing Social Security benefits intended for her children.
Elizabeth Smith, 40, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of public funds and two counts of making false statements. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2019. Smith was charged and arrested in September 2018.
From October 2012 through October 2015, Smith stole Social Security benefits that were paid to her on behalf of her three children. In August 2014, Smith fraudulently told Social Security that she used all of the money she received on behalf of her children for their care and support, despite the fact that her children were no longer in her care, but in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Smith stole approximately $74,464.50 in Social Security benefits.
The charges of theft of public funds provide for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The making false statements charges provide for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.