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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cleveland Heights woman charged with welfare fraud

Loretta Irby, 63, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has been charged with theft of government property, said Carole S. Rendon, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Irby stole approximately $33,963 in Supplemental Security Income benefits to which she was not entitled. Irby defrauded the Social Security Administration by concealing her true marital status and living arrangements with her husband. The concealment deprived SSA of the ability to properly administer the SSI program, and caused SSA to pay her benefits when she was not eligible for those benefits. Irby concealed these material facts knowing that it would affect her right to SSI benefits.The scheme lasted approximately 10 years, beginning in or around July 2005, through in or around April 2015, according to court documents. 

Special Assistant United States Attorney Lisa J. Sanniti is prosecuting the case following an investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.

If convicted, the court will determine the defendant’s sentence after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum.  In most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated April 14, 2016