More Americans Charged With Social Security Crimes

More Americans Charged With Social Security Crimes

The Department of Justice is off to a hot start in 2022. 

The year 2022 has barely begun, but there are already several stories in the news about the federal government charging people with fraud and other crimes in relation to Social Security.

Woman Steals Father’s Social Security Benefits

A fifty-one-year-old woman in Erie, Pennsylvania pled guilty at the end of January to a charge of theft of government property for improperly taking her father’s Social Security benefits.

According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the woman collected $127,636 worth of Old Age, Survivor’s Disability Insurance benefits over a twelve-year period. The money was meant for her father, who died in 2006, but she never notified the Social Security Administration of her father’s death as required by law.

According to, the woman told the Social Security Administration that her father was “visiting family in the Catskills” when they first approached her about an audit.

Sentencing is scheduled in May; the woman faces ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. She will also likely be required to pay restitution.

Massachusetts Woman Sentenced

A woman from Springfield, Massachusetts was sentenced on Tuesday to three years of probation on charges that she stole $62,000 in Social Security benefits. Of those three years, the first six months may be served in home detention. The woman initially pled guilty last September.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the woman received Social Security funds that were meant for the deceased father of her fiancé. She did not inform the Social Security Administration of the man’s death.

Nevada Woman Gets One Year in Prison

A woman from Las Vegas was sentenced on February 1 to a year and a day in prison for stealing $40,000 in Social Security benefits meant for her late husband. And it wasn’t her first such theft from a family member.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office for Nevada, the seventy-one-year-old woman pled guilty last July to a single count of theft of government funds. She was charged for a scheme to steal money from her husband over the course of four years. During some of that period, the prosecutors said, the woman was under supervised release for a previous conviction for stealing Social security benefits meant for her late father.

The woman was also sentenced to three years of probation.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.