California Woman Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Theft of Social Security Benefits

Monday, October 15, 2012
Office Affiliation: 

FRESNO, Calif. – Bakersfield resident Louisa Recatune, 45, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to 21 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for theft of Social Security benefits, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. She was also ordered to pay $239,543 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and was ordered to forfeit $239,543.

According to court documents, between January 2004 and August 2011 Recatune received approximately $239,543 in Social Security survivor benefits to which she was not entitled. She claimed to be the survivor of a deceased Social Security beneficiary. Although she had married the beneficiary in September 2002, less than a year later, she filed to annul the marriage. In November 2003, Recatune obtained a state court judgment nullifying the marriage. After the Social Security beneficiary died in December 2003, Recatune nonetheless filed for survivor’s benefits and failed to disclose to the Social Security Administration that the marriage had been annulled.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Sherriff prosecuted the case