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Former Member of NYPD Arrested for Stealing More Than $130,000 in Social Security Benefits Intended for His Children

August 28, 2019

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

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

Earlier today, Michael Conway was arrested on a complaint charging him with wire fraud.  Between August 2009 and September 2018, Conway allegedly stole more than $130,000 from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) that was intended for his two minor children.  Conway will make his initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General, SSA, announced the charges.

“As alleged in the complaint, for nearly a decade, the defendant committed a fraud on his family and SSA by unlawfully collecting and keeping funds that had been provided for the care of his children based on false statements he made to the government,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office will remain vigilant in identifying and prosecuting those like the defendant who collect benefits to which they are not entitled.”

“This arrest should serve as a warning to those who choose to defraud Social Security’s disability programs,” stated SSA Inspector General Ennis.  “We vigorously pursue fraud allegations, and work closely with United States Attorney’s Offices across the country to bring offenders to justice.  I encourage the public to report suspected Social Security fraud to our fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or http://oig.ssa.gov/report.”

According to the complaint, Conway, a former member of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), began receiving Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits from the SSA in May 2009 for a work-related injury he suffered while employed by the NYPD.  Eligible family members may also receive RSDI benefits, or auxiliary benefits.  In August 2009, Conway applied for auxiliary benefits on behalf of his twin children, who were 8-years-old at the time.  Conway falsely claimed that his children resided with him in Queens and that no other relatives provided financial support for the children.  Based on the false information provided by the defendant, the SSA approved the application and granted Conway’s request to receive and manage the SSA funds to which his children were entitled.  Conway’s fraud was uncovered when his son, upon applying to the SSA for benefits, learned that SSA had been paying benefits to Conway on his children’s behalf since 2009 and that Conway had received a total of $138,016.60.  The twins’ mother informed the SSA that she was awarded custody of the children in December 2002 and they had never lived with the defendant.

The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, Conway faces a statutory maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment and restitution.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Virginia Nguyen is in charge of the prosecution.

Earlier today, Michael Conway was arrested on a complaint charging him with wire fraud.  Between August 2009 and September 2018, Conway allegedly stole more than $130,000 from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) that was intended for his two minor children.  Conway will make his initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General, SSA, announced the charges.

“As alleged in the complaint, for nearly a decade, the defendant committed a fraud on his family and SSA by unlawfully collecting and keeping funds that had been provided for the care of his children based on false statements he made to the government,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office will remain vigilant in identifying and prosecuting those like the defendant who collect benefits to which they are not entitled.”

“This arrest should serve as a warning to those who choose to defraud Social Security’s disability programs,” stated SSA Inspector General Ennis.  “We vigorously pursue fraud allegations, and work closely with United States Attorney’s Offices across the country to bring offenders to justice.  I encourage the public to report suspected Social Security fraud to our fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or http://oig.ssa.gov/report.”

According to the complaint, Conway, a former member of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), began receiving Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits from the SSA in May 2009 for a work-related injury he suffered while employed by the NYPD.  Eligible family members may also receive RSDI benefits, or auxiliary benefits.  In August 2009, Conway applied for auxiliary benefits on behalf of his twin children, who were 8-years-old at the time.  Conway falsely claimed that his children resided with him in Queens and that no other relatives provided financial support for the children.  Based on the false information provided by the defendant, the SSA approved the application and granted Conway’s request to receive and manage the SSA funds to which his children were entitled.  Conway’s fraud was uncovered when his son, upon applying to the SSA for benefits, learned that SSA had been paying benefits to Conway on his children’s behalf since 2009 and that Conway had received a total of $138,016.60.  The twins’ mother informed the SSA that she was awarded custody of the children in December 2002 and they had never lived with the defendant.

The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, Conway faces a statutory maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment and restitution.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Virginia Nguyen is in charge of the prosecution.

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