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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Convicted Felon Sentenced For Stealing Social Security Benefits

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Kenyatta Biafra Bellamy (48, Davenport) to 24 months in federal prison for theft of government funds. As part of his sentence, the Court also ordered him to pay $40,232.34 in restitution, the proceeds of the fraud.

Bellamy pleaded guilty on November 6, 2017.

According to court documents, Bellamy began receiving Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in November 2011. In his application for SSI disability benefits, Bellamy stated that he had not been accused or convicted of a felony and that he was not on probation under federal or state law. He also stated that he rented his residence, maintained one checking account that contained less than $2,000, and had not received any other income. An investigation ultimately revealed that all of Bellamy’s statements were false and that he had previously been convicted of a felony and maintained bank accounts containing significant amounts of money.

Between December 2011 and October 2014, Bellamy received monthly wire transfers of $2,000 from a New York-based company that disperses pre-settlement funds. And, in October 2014, he received a final settlement check of $635,249.21. Bank statements show that Bellamy used the money that he had concealed and fraudulently obtained from the Social Security Administration to purchase residential properties in Winter Haven and Haines City. He also traveled frequently and made large cash withdrawals and purchases. Based on his fraudulent statements and submission of false documents, Bellamy received a total of $40,232.34 in federal benefits to which he was not entitled.

This case was investigated by Social Security Administration—Office of the Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 7, 2018