New York Woman Pleads Guilty to $176,000 Deceased Payee Fraud

Date: 
Friday, June 30, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Diane Cleversley, 68, of Williamsville, NY, pleaded guilty to theft of Social Security retirement benefits, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lamarque, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant failed to notify the Social Security Administration of her mother’s death in 2001. As a result, Social Security checks continued to be issued and deposited into a joint savings account held by Cleversley and her mother.  The defendant transferred funds from the joint savings account into her own checking account. Cleversley, a retired social worker, stole a total of $176,405 between July 2001 and February 2017.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John Grasso. 

Sentencing is scheduled for October 2, 2017, at 12:00 pm before Judge Arcara.