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Press Release

Exeter Man Sentenced to 41 Months for Making False Statements and Pharmacy Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

Contact: Andrew McCormack           
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Bangor, Maine:  United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Clifford Sprague, 38, of Exeter, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. to 41 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release making false statements to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits and for being an accessory after the fact to a pharmacy robbery. The defendant was also ordered to pay $18,042 in restitution. The defendant pled guilty to the charges on September 16, 2015. 

According to court records, from March 2011 until March 2012, the defendant received $12,864 in SSDI benefits for himself and his three dependent children. SSDI benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to people with a disability.  In November 2011, the defendant was required to undergo a Continuing Disability Review to determine if he was still disabled.  During this review, the defendant told his representative payee to falsely represent that he did not work outside the house and did require someone to clean, bathe, dress and cook for him.  In truth and fact, the defendant did not have disabilities that required someone else to clean, bathe, dress and cook for him and did a significant amount of work outside the house including working as a scrap metal dealer, carpenter and woodcutter.

On March 10, 2012, Michael Thompson entered the Rite Aid pharmacy in Guilford, Maine wearing a bandana, a hood, sunglasses and gloves.  He jumped over the pharmacy counter, brandished a large hunting style knife and demanded narcotics.  A pharmacist opened the locker containing narcotics and Thompson filled his back pack with more than $5000 worth of them.  After the robbery, Thompson called Sprague, told him that he had robbed the pharmacy and asked Sprague to pick him up in his car.  Sprague did so.  Shortly after picking up Thompson, Sprague saw a Somerset County Sheriff’s Office vehicle.  Sprague slowed down his vehicle and told Thompson he needed to get out.  Thompson got out of Sprague’s vehicle and fled into the woods.  Later, Sprague used and sold some of the narcotics Thompson stole.  On June 29, 2015, Thompson was sentenced to 82 months in prison for his role in the pharmacy robbery.

The false statements investigation was conducted by the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General. The pharmacy robbery investigation was conducted by the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office, the Maine State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Updated July 1, 2016

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