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Press Release

Washington, Pa. Woman Charged With Defrauding Social Security

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A Washington County resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of theft of government property and supplemental security income fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The two-count indictment, returned on July 31, named Crystal Bell, 42, of Washington, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.

The indictment alleges that, from January 31, 2013 through November 31, 2014, Bell acted as a representative payee for a beneficiary and converted $15,031 in Title XVI Social Security benefits deposited to the bank account for the beneficiary. She also falsified a document sent to Social Security Administration by indicating that the beneficiary was residing at her home when the beneficiary was not then residing at her home and was not entitled to receive benefits.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Hull is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The U.S. Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated August 1, 2018

Financial Fraud