From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio:
A federal grand jury indicted a Garfield Heights man for theft of government funds, said David A. Sierleja, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Eric Hegler, 65, fraudulently received approximately $144,000 in benefits from the Social Security Administration to which he was not entitled over nine years, according to the indictment.
The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Special Assistant United States Attorney Lisa J. Sanniti is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the Court will determine the defendant’s sentence after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum. In most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.