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Press Release

Former Lunenburg Woman Sentenced for Stealing Social Security Benefits

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

BOSTON – A former Lunenburg woman was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Worcester to stealing Social Security benefits.   

Sue E. Delaney, 68, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to six months of home confinement and two years of probation. Delaney was also ordered to pay $221,656 in restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA). On April 12, 2021, Delaney pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of theft of public funds.

“Delaney purposefully failed to report the death of her own family member just to continue receiving and pocketing her dead relative’s Social Security benefits,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “Her crime diverted benefits meant for people who are actually entitled to them.  Our office will use federal charges where appropriate to punish this type of fraud and protect the integrity of the Social Security system.”

“Concealing death information from the Social Security Administration to steal benefits issued to the deceased is a Federal crime that we will continue to pursue,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “For over 16 years, this individual withheld essential information to maintain illegal access to more than $221,000. I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki for prosecuting this case.”

In 1999, Delaney’s mother-in-law, who was receiving monthly benefits from Social Security, passed away. Delaney failed to inform the Social Security Administration of the death, and SSA continued to deposit monthly benefits into a bank account held by Delaney’s mother-in-law. From November 1999 through March 2017, Delaney stole approximately $221,656 in Social Security benefits from her late mother-in-law’s account.

Acting U.S. Attorney Mendell and SSA IG Ennis made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated August 11, 2021

Financial Fraud