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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 17, 2022

South Carolina Woman Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Stealing over $780,000 in Medicare and Social Security Benefits

TRENTON, N.J. – A Hanahan, South Carolina, woman was sentenced to 28 months in prison for defrauding the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Social Security and Medicare benefits, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Martha Aguilar, 60, formerly of Middletown, New Jersey, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to Count Three of a superseding indictment charging her with Social Security Fraud. Chief Judge Wolfson imposed the sentence by videoconference on June 15, 2022.  

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From November 2004 to September 2016, Aguilar collected $136,879 in Social Security benefits and $644,605 in Medicare benefits that she was not entitled to receive. Aguilar indicated on forms to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that she was completely disabled and unable to work, but continued working as a paralegal. Aguilar also fraudulently applied for and received temporary disability from the state of New Jersey totaling $13,622, and unemployment benefits from the state of New Jersey totaling $103,738, which she concealed from the SSA. In all, Aguilar fraudulently failed to report to SSA $488,870 in benefits and income. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Aguilar to two years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $781,484.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Sharon MacDermott; the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Eastern Region, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Debbi Mayer; and N.J. Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Division of Fraud Prevention & Risk Management-Special Investigations Unit, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Meriah Russell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
22-228
Updated June 17, 2022