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Press Release

Northfield Man Sentenced To Six Months Of Home Confinement For Making False Statements To Obtain Social Security Benefits

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

          CONCORD – Robert Gallagher Sr., 51, of Northfield, was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for 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 since at least 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 (OIG), that he had worked since 2008 and that he had 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 previously pleaded guilty on November 13, 2018. 

          In addition to the sentence, the Court also ordered Gallagher to pay $91,539 in restitution within six months.

          “Social Security disability insurance benefits provide essential support to individuals who are unable to work,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Lying in order to obtain these benefits is a crime.  In order to protect the integrity of Social Security, we will not hesitate to prosecute those who attempt to cheat the system to obtain money they are not entitled to receive.”           

          “Disability insurance benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to those individuals who are not employed as a result of a medical condition,” said Inspector in Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division. “Taking advantage of a system that supports those who need it most, will not be tolerated.  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and our federal and state law enforcement partners will continue to conduct investigations of those who participate in schemes like these.”

        “By prosecuting offenders like Gallagher, we deliver a strong message that this type of fraud won’t be tolerated,” said Scott Antolik, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Social Security OIG’s Boston Field Division. “Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those who choose to defraud the Social Security Administration.  These cases are vigorously pursued, and we will continue to work jointly with the U.S. Attorney, and our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute fraud perpetrators in the future.”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 was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.



Updated July 16, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-122