Garfield Heights woman charged with stealing $34,000 in Social Security benefits
A Garfield Heights woman was charged with theft of government property, said Carole S. Rendon, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Joan Hall, 69, stole over $34,000 in Social Security Retirement and Survivor’s benefits to which she was not entitled. Hall fraudulently converted to her own use her deceased husband’s Social Security Retirement and Survivor’s benefits after he died. As her husband’s representative payee, Hall was required to report her husband’s death to the Social Security Administration. She failed to report his death, and instead continued to receive benefits intended for her deceased husband, according to the information.
The United States Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Lisa J. Sanniti.
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.