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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 29, 2015

New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty To Social Security Fraud

          CONCORD, N.H. –Walter Morton, 49, of Laconia, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to three counts of Social Security Fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith.

          In June 2009, Morton began receiving Social Security disability benefits.  He also began receiving Child’s Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of two minor children, his biological daughter and his former stepson, serving as their representative payee.  In this role, Morton was responsible for using the benefits he received on behalf of the children for their current needs, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical care.

          On three separate occasions between August 2010 and December 2012, Morton advised SSA that the children resided with him and that he used the benefit payments he received as their representative payee for the children’s care and support.  An investigation conducted by SSA’s Office of the Inspector General, however, revealed that the children had not lived with Morton since 2003 and he had not used their benefits for their current needs.  Morton’s concealment of the true residency of the children and his failure to use the benefits for their care and support caused him to fraudulently receive $58,459.70 in Child’s Insurance Benefits payments.

          “My office will continue to work closely with the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration to identify and prosecute those individuals who steal from the Social Security Fund by making false claims for benefits,” stated Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith.  “Benefit programs exist so that those in need may receive the financial assistance necessary to survive.  Those who engage in fraud to obtain benefits threaten the financial security of those citizens legitimately entitled to benefits.  I thank the OIG for its excellent investigative work in this case.”

          Morton is scheduled to be sentenced on October 2, 2015.  He is facing a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment on each of the three counts.  He was released on conditions pending sentencing.  

          The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Karen Burzycki.

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Updated June 30, 2015