Boscawen Woman Sentenced To Home Confinement For Social Security, Food Stamp, And Wire Fraud
CONCORD, N.H. – Bonita Kitson, 45, of Boscawen, New Hampshire, who pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security Fraud, two counts of Making False Statements, and one count of Wire Fraud on April 21, 2016, was sentenced today to two years of probation, including four months of home confinement, and was ordered to pay $28,788 in restitution, announced United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.
According to the indictment, statements made in court, and other public records in the case, Kitson received Social Security disability benefits, Food Stamps, and Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled for over two years prior to her marriage in October 2010. Her husband also received Social Security disability benefits and Food Stamps before they married. They each continued to receive these benefits after they wed, but neither Kitson nor her husband reported their marriage or their shared residence to Social Security or to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services as required. Instead, Kitson advised both agencies that she and her husband were merely friends. The marriage was not disclosed until October 2014, when Kitson advised Social Security that her husband passed away one month earlier as part of her application for a lump-sum death benefit.
Kitson’s marriage and shared living arrangement, if properly reported, would have significantly reduced the amount of Social Security disability benefits and Food Stamps she and her husband received, and would have disqualified Kitson from receiving Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled. Applicants for each of these benefits programs must have limited income and resources in order to qualify for assistance. The income of all members of a household is considered when determining an individual’s eligibility for benefits. As a result of concealing the marriage and shared residence, Kitson and her husband fraudulently received an additional $27,654 in disability benefits and Food Stamps, and Kitson received $1,134 in Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled to which she was not entitled.
Kitson was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge Joseph N. Laplante.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Special Investigations Unit, and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Karen Burzycki.