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Press Release

Gardner Woman Sentenced for Fraudulently Receiving Disability Benefits and Food Stamps

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

BOSTON – A Gardner, Mass. woman was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Worcester for fraudulently receiving over $100,000 in public benefits. 

Heidi Narcisse, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman to three years of probation and ordered to pay $117,524 in restitution.  Narcisse pleaded guilty in September 2015. 

Narcisse began collecting Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits in 1999 and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2011.  In order to be eligible for these benefits, a person must have very limited income and financial resources; furthermore, income provided by a spouse can make a person ineligible for benefits.  In order to receive these benefits, Narcisse repeatedly and falsely stated that she was separated from her husband, lived alone with her children and had no outside support. 

In reality, in July 2006, Narcisse and her husband bought a house together in Gardner using a subsidized government loan, listed that house as their residential address on their respective driver’s licenses and filed joint tax returns listing the same address.  In addition, Narcisse’s husband, who had income from his job, regularly gave Narcisse money for household expenses.  If Narcisse had truthfully reported her living situation and her husband’s financial support, she would not have been eligible to receive the SSI and SNAP benefits.  From 2006 to 2014, Narcisse illegally received $100,512 in SSI benefits, and from 2011 to 2015 she received $17,012 in SNAP benefits.  The investigation also revealed that Narcisse spent a portion of this money at a casino in Connecticut. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; and Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump, made the announcement today.  The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit. 

Updated February 4, 2016