Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Paul Cawley, age 50, of Baltimore, Maryland late yesterday to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for stealing over $175,000 in social security benefits. Judge Bennett also ordered Cawley to pay restitution of $175,213.70
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division.
According to Cawley’s plea agreement, Cawley’s mother received benefits under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Survivor’s Insurance Benefits Program (Title II Program) between 1990 and her death on September 21, 1997. SSA was not notified of Cawley’s mother’s death and continued to send her benefits to a post office box which Cawley controlled. Cawley admitted that he received the benefit checks and endorsed them for deposit into a joint bank account he had with his mother. From September 21, 1997 through July 3, 2012, when the benefits were terminated, SSA paid a total of $175,213.70 in Title II Program benefits on behalf of Cawley’s mother. Cawley made regular withdrawals from the bank account, including cash withdrawals at ATMs and electronic bill payments, spending substantially all the SSA benefits deposited into the joint account.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the SSA-OIG for its work in the investigation and thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Nitze, on detail from the Social Security Administration, who prosecuted the case.