David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BOZENA GRABALA, 54, of East Hartford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to five years of probation, the first six months of which GRABALA must serve in home confinement with electronic monitoring, for her illegal receipt of more than $180,000 in Social Security benefit payments that were made to her deceased parents. GRABALA also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
According to court documents and statements made in court, GRABALA’ mother began receiving monthly Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefit (“SSRIB”) payments in 1984. In July 2000, GRABALA’s mother died. GRABALA’s father began receiving monthly SSRIB payments in 1983. On November 1, 2006, GRABALA’s father died. From November 2006 and August 2011, GRABALA continued to receive, and use, monthly SSRIB payments intended for her mother and father in the total amount of $186,608.
As part of her sentence, GRABALA was ordered to pay full restitution to the government.
In addition, the Social Security Administration made $97,533 in SSRIB overpayments from the time of GRABALA’s mother’s death in July 2000 to the time of her father’s death in November 2006. These overpayments are the subject of separate and unrelated Social Security Administration administrative proceedings.
On February 16, 2012, GRABALA waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.
This matter was investigated by the United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy.