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Former Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced to Prison for $173,000 Deceased Payee Fraud

November 19, 2015

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

Elena DiMaggio, 72, of Key Largo, Florida, and formerly of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to nine months incarceration pursuant to her prior guilty plea to theft of government funds, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  

The defendant, who stole Social Security retirement benefits intended for her mother, after her mother’s death in January 1998 until the defendant’s fraud was discovered in the summer of 2012, was also ordered to pay significant financial penalties and restitution.  In addition to $173,510 in restitution, the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky ordered the defendant to pay $21,648.58 in prejudgment interest.  The prejudgment interest was ordered to make the victim, the Social Security Administration, whole for the interest it could have earned on the stolen money if it had retained that money from 1998 to 2012. Moreover, the Court ordered a fine in the amount of $30,000.  Altogether, the defendant was ordered to pay $225,158.58 to the government.            

The defendant, the founder and former owner of an electronics company, stole from the Social Security Administration despite her personal wealth in excess of a million dollars.  DiMaggio was a joint account holder on her deceased mother’s bank account, and accessed the account after her mother’s death in various means, including writing large checks to herself that were then deposited into other bank accounts held by the defendant.  Defendant DiMaggio kept the account open in both her and her deceased mother’s name throughout the fraud.   

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda R. Reinitz.

Elena DiMaggio, 72, of Key Largo, Florida, and formerly of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to nine months incarceration pursuant to her prior guilty plea to theft of government funds, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  

The defendant, who stole Social Security retirement benefits intended for her mother, after her mother’s death in January 1998 until the defendant’s fraud was discovered in the summer of 2012, was also ordered to pay significant financial penalties and restitution.  In addition to $173,510 in restitution, the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky ordered the defendant to pay $21,648.58 in prejudgment interest.  The prejudgment interest was ordered to make the victim, the Social Security Administration, whole for the interest it could have earned on the stolen money if it had retained that money from 1998 to 2012. Moreover, the Court ordered a fine in the amount of $30,000.  Altogether, the defendant was ordered to pay $225,158.58 to the government.            

The defendant, the founder and former owner of an electronics company, stole from the Social Security Administration despite her personal wealth in excess of a million dollars.  DiMaggio was a joint account holder on her deceased mother’s bank account, and accessed the account after her mother’s death in various means, including writing large checks to herself that were then deposited into other bank accounts held by the defendant.  Defendant DiMaggio kept the account open in both her and her deceased mother’s name throughout the fraud.   

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda R. Reinitz.

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