You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 8, 2014

Revere Woman Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Government Benefits Programs

RSS feed

BOSTON – A Revere woman pleaded guilty today to fraudulently receiving over $88,000 in disability payments and rental assistance benefits.

Emily Lardiero, 64, pleaded guilty to theft of public money. In November 2014, Lardiero was charged in a felony information. U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for March 11, 2015.

In 2003, Lardiero began receiving Supplemental Security Income disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Recipients of these benefits are required to inform SSA if they return to work or if they acquire money or property that might make them financially ineligible to continue receiving benefits. Lardiero did not report any work or income to SSA and stated during a benefits review in November 2013 that she was still disabled and had no income aside from her SSA benefits. In reality, however, Lardiero was working at Action Emergency Services, a family business in Revere. She also drew income from the business, which she did not report to SSA. By failing to disclose her work and income to SSA, Lardiero received $47,671 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Additionally, since 2001, Lardiero was illegally receiving rental assistance benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Under this program, HUD pays a significant portion of the monthly rent to the landlord, and the tenant pays the remainder. To receive this subsidy, tenants are not allowed to have any ownership interest in the housing in which they live. In 2007, Lardiero became the sole trustee of the trust that owned the house she was living in and as such she could control the property as if she were the legal owner. Despite signing annual acknowledgements that she knew she could not have any interest in her housing unit, Lardiero continued to participate in the subsidy program. From 2007 to 2010, an acquaintance of Lardiero’s received the monthly landlord’s payments from HUD, and then forwarded the money to her each month. In this manner, Lardiero illegally received $40,391 in HUD benefits.

This case was brought as part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in partnership with the Social Security Administration to investigate and prosecute fraud pertaining to Social Security disability benefits.

In July 2014, Charles Flynn and Steven Grondell of Georgetown were each sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, and were ordered to serve 105 hours of community service and to pay $105,158 in restitution to SSA. Flynn received SSA disability benefits while working under Grondell’s identity, and with his permission, to conceal the work from SSA.

Also in July 2014, Carl Lynch of Ware was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, and was ordered to pay $50,264 in restitution to SSA. Lynch received SSA disability benefits while working under another man’s identity to conceal the work from SSA.

In January 2014, Antonio Pulinario Brea of the Dominican Republic was sentenced to 10 months in prison and was ordered to pay $60,455 in restitution to SSA. Pulinario Brea used the identity of an American citizen to obtain SSA disability benefits that he would not have been entitled to receive under his true identity.

The charging statute in the Lardiero case provides 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. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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 Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office, made the announcement today. The Lardiero case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

Component(s): 
Updated December 17, 2014