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Press Release

Cleveland woman indicted for improperly cashing $338,000 worth of Social Security checks over 24 years

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

A federal grand jury indicted Carolyn Freeman, 61, of Cleveland for theft of government funds, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The indictment alleges that Freeman fraudulently cashed Social Security widow’s benefits checks from November 1989 until April 2014, taking a total of $338,504 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Lisa J. Sanniti and Assistant United States Attorney M. Kendra Klump.

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 indictment 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.


Updated January 8, 2016