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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 21, 2020

Catherine Verdon Pleads Not Guilty To False Statement Charges

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Catherine Verdon, 45, of Middletown Springs, pleaded not guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Burlington to an indictment charging her with making false statements to obtain federal and state program benefit payments.  U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released Verdon on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

On January 29, a federal grand jury in Rutland returned a four-count indictment against Verdon.  Two of the counts charged Verdon with making false statements to the Social Security Administration in connection with her applications for Supplemental Security Income benefits, a need-based assistance program for aged, blind and disabled individuals.  According to the indictment, Verdon falsely claimed that she and her husband were separated and that he did not live in the household.  Such falsehoods would have affected her eligibility to receive any SSI benefits. 

The indictment further charges Verdon with making false statements to Vermont officials in connection with her application for benefits under Vermont assistance programs that are funded, in part, by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.  Such programs include Medicaid; 3Squares, a food stamp-type program; a fuel assistance program; and Reach Up, a family assistance program.  The indictment alleges that Verdon falsely claimed in her state applications that she and her husband were separated; that he did not live in the household; and that he did not provide financial assistance to the family.

The U.S. Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that Verdon is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty.

If convicted, Verdon faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.  The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

This case was investigated by the Offices of the Inspector General of both the Social Security Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Verdon is represented by Assistant Federal Defender David McColgin.  The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150years.

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 21, 2020