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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Connoquenessing Woman Pleads Guilty in $61K Social Security Fraud Scheme

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Butler County, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to Social Security fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Pattie Lou Smith, 56, of Connoquenessing, pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that when applying for and receiving Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits, Smith falsely reported that her husband was not part of her household, and, as a result, during the period December 30, 2013 through February 28, 2017, received $61,331.50 in SSI benefits to which she was not entitled.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for January 9, 2020. The law provides for a total sentence of 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Smith remains on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Smith.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated September 5, 2019