New Hampshire Woman Pleads Guilty to Social Security Disability Fraud, Government Theft

Date: 
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

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

CONCORD, N.H. – Mary Sosa, 57, of Amherst, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to three counts of Making False Statements, announced United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Sosa began receiving Social Security disability benefits in 1997. She also received Medicaid benefits since July 2013 and Food Stamps, also known as SNAP benefits, beginning in July 2014. Eligibility for each of these benefits programs is based, in part, on the applicant having limited income and resources. In assessing a married individual’s eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, Medicaid, and Food Stamps, the income of the applicant’s spouse is considered.

Sosa married in September 2001, but she failed to disclose her marriage to Social Security as required. Instead, she reported that she was never married. When she finally admitted to Social Security in 2014 that she was married, she falsely stated that her husband moved out of their residence two days after their wedding. Similarly, in connection with her claims for Medicaid and Food Stamps, Sosa erroneously informed the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services that she was never married and she failed to identify her husband as a member of her household. Her husband’s income would have rendered her ineligible to receive any Supplemental Security Income benefits, Medicaid, and Food Stamps. As a result of concealing her marriage and her husband’s true residence from the Social Security Administration and from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Sosa fraudulently received $91,669.38 in disability benefits, $21,524.59 in Medicaid, and $1,963 in Food Stamps.

Sosa is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2017. She was released on conditions pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Special Investigations Unit, with assistance from the Town of Amherst Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Karen Burzycki.