Two Martinsburg women charged with fraud
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging two Martinsburg, West Virginia women with fraud, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
An investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General revealed that Aida Aliu Bell, 38, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, unlawfully collected Social Security Benefits in the amount of $10,632.00 on behalf of her minor daughters. Initially, Bell was properly designated to receive the benefits of behalf of her daughters. In September 2011, custody of Bell’s minor daughters was transferred to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Bell allegedly failed to report the change in custody and continued to improperly collect Social Security benefits through approximately August 2013. Bell is charged with one count of “Social Security Fraud,” for which she faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00. She is further charged with one count of “Purloining Government Money,” for which she faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00.
During the course of litigation with her mortgage broker, Amanda Bishop, 35, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, is alleged to have created and submitted to the court fake bank statements purporting to show that she had made mortgage payments in the amount of $1,848.00 on Nov. 17, 2010 and Dec. 15, 2010. Bishop is charged with two counts of “False Declaration Before Court” following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00 on each count.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Stein is prosecuting Bell and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Camilletti and Anna Krasinski are prosecuting Bishop on behalf of the government.