Maine Woman Pleads Guilty to $26,000 Supplemental Security Income Fraud

Date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine:

Bangor, Maine: Acting United States Attorney Richard W. Murphy announced that Amanda Harding a/k/a “Amanda Grass,” 32, of Orono, Maine, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to social security fraud.

According to court records, the defendant began receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) payments in 2006. SSI benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. The defendant was living in Maine when she first obtained SSI benefits. Between 2006 and 2016, the defendant was repeatedly informed that she needed to report any change of address to the SSA. On October 8, 2011, the defendant married a Canadian citizen, moved to Brunswick, Canada, and applied for Canadian citizenship. She resided in Canada from October 2011 through February 2016. The defendant did not inform SSA of her change of address and illegally obtained over $26,000 in SSI benefits. During an interview with law enforcement agents, the defendant admitted that she understood if she told SSA that she moved to Canada her SSI benefits would be significantly reduced.

The defendant faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

The case was investigated by SSA’s Office of Inspector General, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Canadian Border Patrol.