Skip to main content
Press Release

New Jersey Resident Sentenced To A Year And A Half In Prison For Social Security Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant admits he illegally received more than $400,000 in benefits after death of his mother.

SAN FRANCISCO – Paul Colvard was sentenced to 18 months in prison for social security fraud, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Robb Stickley.  The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable James Donato, United States District Judge.  

Colvard, 66, of Jersey City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to the charge on April 17, 2019.  According to his plea agreement, Colvard and his mother jointly owned a bank account into which her Social Security retirement benefits were being deposited.  Colvard’s mother died on December 23, 1987, and Colvard did not disclose that fact to the SSA.  Instead, Colvard continued to let the SSA deposit his mother’s Social Security retirement benefits into the bank account so he could collect his mother’s benefits.  Colvard acknowledged that his decision to conceal his mother’s death caused the SSA to pay retirement benefits that she was not entitled to receive and that the loss to the United States attributed to his fraud exceeded $400,000.   

A federal grand jury indicted Colvard on November 6, 2018, charging him with one count of social security fraud, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(4), and one count of theft of government property, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641.  Colvard pleaded guilty to the fraud count and the theft count was dismissed at sentencing.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Donato sentenced the defendant to a 3-year period of supervised release and ordered him to pay $407,007.00 in restitution.  Judge Donato ordered Colvard to begin serving his prison term on August 7, 2019.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Vieira is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kimberly Richardson.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the SSA Office of the Inspector General.  

Updated July 24, 2019