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Rhode Island Man Pleads Guilty to $250,000 Deceased Payee Fraud

August 12, 2015

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Rhode Island:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Luke Clarke, 72, of Hope, R.I., pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to fraudulently collecting more than $250,000 in Social Security benefits in his deceased mother’s name, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

Clarke admitted to the court that the Social Security Administration was never notified of his mother’s death in January 1998, and that he continued to collect his mother’s retirement benefits in the amount of $1,517 per month until October 2014. The monthly benefit was direct deposited into a bank account he shared with his mother. Clarke admitted to fraudulently collecting $257,959.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Clarke pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds. Clarke is scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2015.

The matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Luke Clarke, 72, of Hope, R.I., pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to fraudulently collecting more than $250,000 in Social Security benefits in his deceased mother’s name, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

Clarke admitted to the court that the Social Security Administration was never notified of his mother’s death in January 1998, and that he continued to collect his mother’s retirement benefits in the amount of $1,517 per month until October 2014. The monthly benefit was direct deposited into a bank account he shared with his mother. Clarke admitted to fraudulently collecting $257,959.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Clarke pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds. Clarke is scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2015.

The matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.

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