Westminster Woman Indicted for Stealing Social Security Benefits
BOSTON – A Westminster woman was arrested today in connection with stealing Social Security benefits.
Theresa Kenda Benedict, 55, was indicted on one count of theft of public funds and four counts of making false statements. She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Worcester before U.S. District Court Chief Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy at 2:00 PM.
According to the indictment that was unsealed today, Benedict served as the representative payee for an individual who was receiving Social Security benefits. In 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, Benedict informed the Social Security Administration that she used all of the money she received as a representative payee for the beneficiary, when, in fact, Benedict used some of the money for her own expenses. Between December 2007 and March 2016, Benedict stole approximately $46,310 in Social Security benefits.
The charge of theft of public funds provides for 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. The charges of making false statements each provide for a sentence of no greater than five 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.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.