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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Winthrop Man Sentenced for Stealing Over $400,000 in Government Benefits

BOSTON – Richard Alan Hersey, 64, of Winthrop, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for stealing over $400,000 in Social Security and federal pension benefits.

U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin sentenced Hersey to five years of probation, including five months of home confinement,  and ordered him to pay restitution of $227,476 to the Social Security Administration and $216,811 to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and a fine of $4,000.  Prior to today’s hearing, Hersey repaid approximately $240,000 of the money he stole.  Hersey pleaded guilty in November 2015.

In 1991, Hersey’s mother passed away; however, Hersey did not notify the Social Security Administration and the Civil Service Retirement System of her death, so her Social Security and pension funds continued to be directly deposited into a bank account held jointly by her and Hersey.  Although he was not entitled to the funds, Hersey routinely withdrew them from the account after his mother’s death and spent them for his own use.  For example, he spent a portion of the stolen money on a cruise to the Bahamas.  In total, from 1991 to 2015, Hersey took $444,287 in Social Security and pension funds to which he was not entitled.  When Hersey was first confronted by investigators in 2015, he falsely stated that he thought his mother was still alive.  He later admitted that she was deceased.   

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 Scott Rezendes, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Personnel Management, Office of Inspector General, Field Operations, made the announcement today.  The Hersey case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

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Updated August 23, 2016