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Former Connecticut Woman Pleads Guilty to $126,000 Deceased Payee Fraud

November 28, 2016

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MARYANNE STEPHENS, 68, of Ireland, formerly of Rocky Hill, Conn., pleaded guilty today before Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of theft of public money for stealing Social Security retirement benefits that had been deposited into her deceased mother-in-law’s bank account.

According to court documents and statements made in court, STEPHENS’ mother-in-law began receiving Social Security retirement benefits in 1971.  Her mother-in-law died in October 1998.  However, approximately $204,000 in Social Security retirement benefits were directly deposited into her mother-in-law’s bank account after her death.

In pleading guilty, STEPHENS admitted that, from approximately March 2004 to December 2010, she forged her mother-in-law’s signature on bank checks in order to fraudulently obtain approximately $126,000 in Social Security retirement benefits that were deposited into her mother-in-law’s bank account after her mother-in-law had died.

Chief Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for February 28, 2017, at which time STEPHENS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution in the amount of $125,938.

STEPHENS surrendered her passport and has been released on a $200,000 bond since her arrest on April 20, 2016.

This matter is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.

 

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MARYANNE STEPHENS, 68, of Ireland, formerly of Rocky Hill, Conn., pleaded guilty today before Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of theft of public money for stealing Social Security retirement benefits that had been deposited into her deceased mother-in-law’s bank account.

According to court documents and statements made in court, STEPHENS’ mother-in-law began receiving Social Security retirement benefits in 1971.  Her mother-in-law died in October 1998.  However, approximately $204,000 in Social Security retirement benefits were directly deposited into her mother-in-law’s bank account after her death.

In pleading guilty, STEPHENS admitted that, from approximately March 2004 to December 2010, she forged her mother-in-law’s signature on bank checks in order to fraudulently obtain approximately $126,000 in Social Security retirement benefits that were deposited into her mother-in-law’s bank account after her mother-in-law had died.

Chief Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for February 28, 2017, at which time STEPHENS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution in the amount of $125,938.

STEPHENS surrendered her passport and has been released on a $200,000 bond since her arrest on April 20, 2016.

This matter is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.

 

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