Facing the criminal justice system is a daunting task, but facing the federal criminal justice system is even scarier. After all, the federal criminal justice system has the entire might of the U.S. government behind it, and federal charges often carry much stiffer penalties than state charges. Unfortunately, five locals are currently in this fight.
These five locals were indicted for alleged fraud schemes against the Social Security Administration. A Vestaburg resident faces representative payee fraud and Social Security fraud because the government claims she spent her sister’s SSA payments on personal items. Another is facing Social Security fraud and theft of government property, among many others, stemming from allegedly lying about not living with her husband.
The Pittsburgh residents are facing charges of theft of government property and false statements to retain Social Security income. These charges allegedly stemmed from the fact that they were not entitled to the benefits she received.
Each resident was separately charged, and they were not alleged to have worked together. However, these residents are a representative sample of the charges brought by the Assistant United States Attorneys, Robert S. Cessar, Rachael L. Mamula and Benjamin J. Risacher. The investigations were done by the United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
These cases show that even potentially innocent lies, omissions or simple misunderstandings can lead to serious charges. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney the moment one is arrested or charged.