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Press Release

Westminster Woman Sentenced for Stealing Social Security Benefits

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

BOSTON – A Westminster woman was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for stealing Social Security benefits.   

Theresa Kenda Benedict, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Hillman to six months of home confinement, two years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $46,310. In May 2019, Benedict pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public funds and four counts of making false statements. Benedict was arrested and charged in June 2018.

Benedict served as the representative payee for a disabled 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. In fact, Benedict had used some of the money for her own expenses. Between December 2007 and March 2016, Benedict stole approximately $46,310.36 in Social Security benefits intended for the disabled individual.

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 prosecuted the case.

Updated October 23, 2019