Connecticut Woman Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Collecting Social Security Benefits

Date: 
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

Article from the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut, here

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Nilda Bermudez, 54, of Hartford, was sentenced last week in Hartford federal court for illegally receiving nearly $200,000 in Social Security disability benefits.  On January 22, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant sentenced Bermudez to six months of imprisonment, followed by six months of home confinement and two years of supervised release.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between 1988 and 1992, Bermudez began receiving Social Security Administration Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) based on a medical condition.  In 1993, Bermudez began working as a receptionist at law firm.  After the Social Security Administration advised Bermudez that she no longer would qualify for DIB benefits as a result of her income from the firm, Bermudez entered false information into her employer’s records.  As a result, her weekly paychecks were made out in another person’s name.  Each year, Bermudez concealed her fraud by preparing the other person’s tax returns, which reported the income Bermudez received from the law firm as income earned by the other person.

From 1993 to April 2013, Bermudez received approximately $199,330 in DIB payments.  During this time, she also periodically filed forms with the Social Security Administration reaffirming her claim for DIB benefits.

Bermudez was ordered to pay full restitution.

On September 23, 2013, Bermudez waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.

This matter was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia E. King.