New Orleans Man and Woman Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds and to Make False Statements

Thursday, June 27, 2019
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana:

ELIJAH CHARLES SORINA (“ELIJAH”), age 29, and LISA SORINA (“LISA”), age 53, both of New Orleans, Louisiana, were charged by a federal grand jury in a three (3) count superseding indictment on Friday, June 21, 2019, with Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Funds and to Make False Statements, and Theft of Government Funds, announced United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser.

According to the superseding indictment, on September 21, 2015, ELIJAH and LISA SORINA completed a SSA Form SSA-821-BK, Work Activity Report, in which they claimed ELIJAH stopped working due to his “physical and/or mental condition.”  However, ELIJAH and LISA SORINA failed to disclose ELIJAH’s employment as a school bus driver with a local transportation company to the SSA. In addition, on November 5, 2015, LISA and ELIJAH SORINA completed a SSA Form SSA-454-BK, Continuing Disability Review Report, and listed his daily activities as, “I get up about 12:00 pm eat, take a shower, watch TV, then at 8 pm (sic) back to bed.”  The two defendants also claimed ELIJAH had difficulty with many daily tasks including but not limited to dressing, bathing, completing chores, driving, walking, and understanding or following directions. 

U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the superseding indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, ELIJAH and LISA face a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine.

U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and the Louisiana State Police.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit.