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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Revere Woman Sentenced for Defrauding Government Benefits Programs

BOSTON - A Revere woman was sentenced today for fraudulently receiving over $88,000 in disability payments and rental assistance.

Emily Lardiero, 64, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, and was ordered to pay $47,671 in restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and $40,391 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  In December 2014, Lardiero pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing public money.

In 2003, Lardiero began receiving Supplemental Security Income disability benefits from the 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, 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 Lardiero 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 SSA 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 ten 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. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration, 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 was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

 

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Updated March 11, 2015