Cambridge Woman Indicted for Social Security and Welfare Fraud
BOSTON – A Cambridge woman was arrested today in connection with fraudulently receiving Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and Section 8 housing assistance.
Malisha Pitt, 49, was indicted on three counts of theft of public funds. She will make an initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Dein this afternoon.
According to the indictment, over a period of approximately 13 years, Pitt allegedly stole Social Security benefits and Section 8 housing assistance benefits. In addition, Pitt allegedly stole SNAP benefits (previously known as Food Stamps) over a period of more than three years.
The charge of theft of public funds provides for a sentence of up to 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. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Jermaine Jack, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.