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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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

          CONCORD – Robert Gallagher Sr., 50, of Northfield, pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to obtain Social Security disability insurance benefits, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

             According to court documents and statements made in court, Gallagher has managed and worked as a mechanic at since 2008.  In May of 2012, Gallagher applied for disability insurance benefits and falsely claimed that he had been unable to work since January 1, 2011.  To receive disability insurance benefits, an individual must have a medical disability that prevents the claimant from performing “substantial gainful activity”—that is, work activity that is the type ordinarily done for pay or profit.  Social Security advised Gallagher that he was required to report whether he was working, regardless of his income, and that if he provided Social Security with “false information on purpose, [his] benefits will be stopped.”  However, although Gallagher was managing and working when he applied for benefits, he concealed his work activity from Social Security.  As a result, Gallagher began receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits in October of 2013.

          In December 2016, during an in-person work activity review, Gallagher again told Social Security that he had not been working.  In 2017, during an audit of Department of Motor Vehicle inspections by the New Hampshire State Police, Gallagher told the inspector that he worked approximately 47 hours per week as both a mechanic and state vehicle inspector.  Gallagher subsequently admitted to an investigator from the Office of the Inspector General, that he had worked since 2008 and that he lied to Social Security when he claimed that he was not working.  As a result of his concealment, Gallagher received Social Security disability insurance benefits that he was not entitled to receive from October 2013 through March 2017.

          Gallagher is scheduled to be sentenced on February 21, 2018.

            “Federal benefits programs provide important support for qualified individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Those who use fraudulent means to obtain benefits are committing a serious federal crime.  We work closely with federal agencies to ensure that federal benefits only go to those who truly deserve them.”            

                “Mr. Gallagher’s false statements allowed him to collect funds from the Social Security Administration’s Disability Trust fund that he was not entitled to,” said Scott Antolik, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General Boston Field Division.  “I hope these charges will be a warning to those who might lie to the Social Security Administration to fraudulently obtain disability benefits to the detriment of those who are truly deserving.  I thank our partners with the New Hampshire State Police for their assistance with this investigation.”

            “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to conduct investigations with our counterparts to combat fraud,” said U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge, Joseph W. Cronin Boston Division.  “We will seek prosecution of those individuals who choose to use the U.S. Mail to facilitate crimes like these.  Mr. Gallagher made fraudulent statements to financially gain from a system designed to support those in need.”

          This matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the New Hampshire State Police.  The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.

 

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Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-222
Updated November 13, 2018