Carlisle Woman Charged With Social Security Fraud
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today it filed a Criminal Information in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg charging a Carlisle woman with theft of more than $500,000 in Social Security Administration benefits paid to Stock’s mother over the past 30 years.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Susan Stock, 71, of Carlisle, PA signed a plea agreement with the United States that was also filed today. Stock agreed to plead guilty to the one-count Information that charges her with theft of government funds. Stock faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.00. Stock has also agreed to make restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the amount of $523,683.20.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in 2013 investigators for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General discovered the fraud when trying to arrange an interview with Stock’s mother, who had been receiving SSA benefits since at least April 1983. The SSA checks were deposited over that 30 year period into an account which Susan Stock controlled. It was discovered that Stock’s mother died in 1983 but that Stock never notified SSA of her mother’s death and continued to receive and spend her deceased mother’s SSA benefits.
The case has been assigned to Senior U.S. District Court Judge William C. Caldwell. The plea agreement is subject to the Court’s approval. The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. Prosecution of the case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is imprisonment for 10 years, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public, and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.