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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Exeter Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to Obtain Social Security Benefits

            CONCORD, N.H. – Brett Gessay, 55, of Exeter, pleaded guilty in federal court to making a false statement in order to obtain Social Security benefits, announced Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley.

            According to public records in the case, Gessay began receiving Social Security disability benefits in January 2007.   Beginning in at least January of 2008, Gessay was self-employed as a construction worker.   His income from this job rendered him ineligible to get most of the Social Security disability benefits that he received while he was self-employed.   Gessay did not report this work activity to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and concealed his self-employment and self-employment income from the SSA.   In mid-2016, Gessay admitted to investigators that he had concealed his work and income from the SSA in order to continue receiving disability benefits.  As a result of his concealment, Gessay received over $48,000 in disability benefits that he would not have received if he had disclosed his self-employment income.

            Gessay is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30, 2018.

            “Social Security disability benefits provide important financial support for those deserving individuals who are unable to work,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.  “We will continue to partner with the SSA’s Office of Inspector General to identify and prosecute those who use fraudulent means to obtain benefits that they are not entitled to receive.  This will ensure that benefits only go to those who truly deserve them.”

            Scott Antolik, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, said “Mr. Gessay’s material omission of key facts resulted in him receiving thousands of dollars in disability benefits he was not entitled to.  Protecting the Social Security Trust Fund from those who conceal their work activity is one of my office’s highest priorities.  I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their partnership in prosecuting those who seek to defraud the government”. 

            The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Special Investigations Unit,  and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew T. Hunter and Karen B. Burzycki.

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Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-040
Updated February 20, 2018