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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 7, 2016

Vinton Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Charge

Robert Wozniak Faces up to 10 Years in Prison

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced the guilty plea today of a man who was previously charged with stealing funds from the Social Security Administration.

Robert Wozniak, 48, of Vinton, Va., was previously charged with one count of theft of government property and one count of social security fraud. Today he pled guilty to that charge.

“Programs like Social Security are meant to be social safety nets for those in need,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “The Defendant fraudulently obtained his grandmother’s social security benefits and this prosecution brings him to justice for this theft.”

Wozniak admitted today that from July 2015 through April 2016 he stole Social Security Administration funds, namely retirement benefit payments, intended for Wozniak’s deceased grandmother, for which he was not entitled. The indictment specifically claims that Wozniak intentionally concealed his grandmother’s death in order to continue to receive and spend the retirement benefit payments made by the Social Security Admiration to his grandmother.  

The defendant admitted today that he concealed the body of his dead grandmother, Betty Wozniak in a freezer and later a barrel for months after she died in order to continue receiving her Social Security payments. Investigators discovered the body after Wozniak’s landlord became suspicious about the barrel and a hole she noticed in the property Robert Wozniak was renting from her.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Medical Center.  Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day will prosecute the case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated November 8, 2016