From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts:
BOSTON – A Rehoboth woman was convicted today by a federal jury in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with illegally collecting more than $29,000 in Social Security benefits.
Joanna Boyer, 44, was convicted following a three-day jury trial of one count of Social Security Fraud, two counts of making false statements and one count of theft of public money. U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for March 8, 2017.
From 2010 to 2015, Boyer collected Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which are only available to people with limited financial means. While collecting these need-based benefits, Boyer concealed the fact that she owned a condominium in Fall River, Mass. On two occasions, when directly asked by Social Security personnel about her property ownership, she denied owning any real estate other than her house in Rehoboth. As a result, she collected more than $29,000 in benefits that she was ineligible to receive.
The charges of Social Security fraud and making false statements each provide for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of theft of public money provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit are prosecuting the case.