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Press Release

New Castle Woman Defrauded Social Security

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of New Castle, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to Social Security fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Shawna Stelter, 37, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, when applying for and receiving Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") Benefits, Stelter failed to disclose that her husband was part of her household, and, as a result, received $26,917.55 in Supplemental Security Income benefits to which she knew she was not entitled, from June of 2014 to September of 2016. The court was further informed that Stelter made a false statement on her Redetermination Summary October 30, 2014, when she further claimed that her husband was not part of her household, and that her household only consisted of herself and her two children.

Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17, 2019. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Stelter remains on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Christy C. Wiegand is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to prosecution of Stelter.

Updated August 27, 2019

Financial Fraud