Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Mattie Lee Neal, age 61, of Capital Heights, Maryland, today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for theft of government money. Judge Titus also ordered that Neal pay restitution of $305,844.40.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration (SSA) - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division.
According to her guilty plea, on November 15, 1994 Neal applied for social security disability benefits, falsely representing herself to be a family member. Neal began receiving disability benefits in April 1995. Previously in January 1992, and again later in May 2007, Nealapplied for disability and supplemental security income benefits using her true identity, but SSA denied her benefits on both occasions.
On May 23, 2011, SSA agents interviewed Neal at her home. Neal initially identified herself as the family member, but eventually admitted her true name. Neal admitted that she started using the family member’s name and social security number in 1989, and collected disability benefits in the name of the family member since 1994.
From May 1995 to June 2011, Neal fraudulently collected $305,844.40 in disability benefits using the family member’s identity.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the SSA -OIG for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Christen A. Sproule, who prosecuted the case.