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Justice News

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Woman Arrested for Stealing Social Security Benefits

BOSTON – An Orange, Mass., woman was arrested today and charged in federal court in Springfield in connection with stealing more than $65,000 in Social Security benefits.

Marie Coleman, 49, was charged in an indictment unsealed today with one count of concealing events affecting the right to payment of Social Security benefits. She will appear in federal court in Springfield this afternoon.

According to the indictment, Coleman served as the representative payee for an individual who was receiving Social Security benefits. Coleman failed to disclose that the individual stopped living with her in November 2008, and she continued to receive benefits on the individual’s behalf through January 2017. Coleman allegedly received more than $69,000 worth of Social Security benefits after the individual stopped living in her home.

The charge of concealing events affecting the right to payment of Social Security benefits provides 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 the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Morgan of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated November 5, 2018