82-year-old woman sentenced for Social Security fraud

September 14, 2012

In Montco, Pennsylvania, an 82-year-old Montgomery County resident was sentenced yesterday to six months home confinement and five-years of probation for illegally collecting $186,000 in Social Security disability benefits, reports the Philly News.

According to the Justice Department’s recent data, of the 170,000 defendants sentenced nationwide for federal crimes in a two-year span, only a few dozen were over age 80, and only three were female octogenarians.

Departing from federal guidelines that recommend first-time offenders serve at least one year in prison, the judge agreed with the prosecutor that the woman’s age and declining health made her an unlikely candidate for jail time.

Officials discovered that two Social Security checks were being sent to her house in Royersford. One was the traditional Social Security payout that she began collecting when she retired in 1992.

The other was a check that she had been receiving under another name since 1978–when, because of her failing eyesight, she sought Supplemental Security Income. It amounted to a few hundreds of dollars a month, but over the decades came to more than $186,000.

She pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. As her son and daughter sat behind her in court, she told the judge she was “very sorry” for the crime and the embarrassment for her family.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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