Parma couple indicted for defrauding Social Security out of $47,000
A Parma man and woman were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and theft of government property, Social Security fraud, and obstruction of justice, said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman.
David Fievet, 51, and Gerolyn Fievet, 52, conspired to steal $47,556 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits by concealing David Fievet’s presence in the family home, according to the indictment.
The SSI program is administered by the Social Security Administration. It pays monthly cash benefits to those found to be disabled and in financial need, based on the beneficiary’s income, living arrangements and other circumstances. A representative payee is approved to managed the beneficiary’s funds and ensure their basic human needs are met, such as food, clothing and shelter, according to the indictment.
Gerolyn Fievet applied for SSI benefits on behalf of her son around September 2006. She applied to serve as representative payee for her son and reported that her husband (and her son’s father) did not live in the household. SSA informed Fievet that she was required to promptly notify SSA if anyone moved into or out of the house. SSA issued SSI benefit checks directly to Fievet, according to the indictment.
In truth, David Fievet lived with Gerolyn Fievet and their son – a fact they did not disclose to the SSA, according to the indictment.
Special Agent Kelly Clark from the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Payum Doroodian is prosecuting the case.
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.