Baltimore, Maryland – Gloria Wilson, age 59, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to theft of government property arising from a scheme to steal $176,874 in social security benefits.
The guilty plea 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 her guilty plea, Wilson’s stepmother, E.W., received retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). E.W. died on October 31, 1996. Her death was not reported to SSA. At the time of her death, the retirement benefits were paid by U.S. Treasury check and mailed to a post office box held in E.W. and Wilson’s names. The checks were then deposited into a checking account held jointly by E.W. and Wilson. Wilson endorsed the checks in her name and in the name of E.W.
In 2000, SSA stopped issuing paper checks to E.W. and instead paid the benefits by direct deposit into the jointly held account. SSA stopped paying the benefits in January 2014.
SSA paid a total of $176,874 in retirement benefits for E.W. after October 31, 1996. After her stepmother’s death, Wilson withdrew substantially all of the benefits deposited in the bank account.
When she was interviewed by law enforcement on March 11, 2014, Wilson admitted that she knew she was not entitled to E.W.’s retirement benefits.
Wilson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for theft of government property. Wilson has agreed to pay restitution of $176,874. Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for April 21, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General for its work in the investigation and thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Perry, who is prosecuting the case.