Massachusetts Woman Indicted with $176,000 Government Theft

Date: 
Friday, January 20, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

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

 

BOSTON – A Malden woman was indicted yesterday for collecting over $176,000 in government benefits by providing false information about her family.

 

Julie Mijal, 39, was charged with three counts of theft of public money and three counts of making false statements. Mijal was previously charged in a criminal complaint in October 2016.

 

According to court documents, Mijal has lived in Malden with her children and their father since at least 2003. During that time, Mijal and her children’s father owned a house together and used the same address on their driver’s licenses, tax returns and other records.

 

During the same years, however, Mijal collected need-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits by telling the Social Security Administration that she only lived with her children, and not with their father. Social Security uses the household’s total income to determine whether someone is eligible for SSI benefits. As a result, Social Security did not count the father’s income when determining whether Mijal and her children were eligible for benefits. Mijal collected $87,053 in SSI benefits that she would not have received if she had reported that her children’s father was also part of the household. In a similar manner, Mijal collected $47,745 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and $41,435 in MassHealth benefits.

 

The charge of theft of public money provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of making a false statement provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

 

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, made the announcement. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.