Massachusetts Woman Pleads Guilty to Supplemental Security Income Fraud, Government Theft

Date: 
Monday, September 25, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

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

 

BOSTON – A Malden woman pleaded guilty today to collecting over $176,000 in government benefits by providing false information about her family.  

 

Julie Mijal, 40, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of public money and three counts of making false statements. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Dec. 13, 2017.

 

Mijal has lived in Malden with her children and their father since at least 2003.  During that time, Mijal and her children’s father owned a house together and used the same address on their driver’s licenses, tax returns and other records. 

 

During the same years, however, Mijal collected needs-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on behalf of her child by telling the Social Security Administration that her child only lived with her and a sibling, and not with the child’s father.  Social Security uses the household’s total income to determine whether someone is eligible for SSI benefits.  As a result, Social Security did not count the father’s income when determining whether Mijal’s child was eligible for benefits.  Mijal collected $87,053 in SSI benefits that she would not have received if she had reported that her children’s father was also part of the household.  In a similar manner, Mijal collected $47,745 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and $41,435 in MassHealth benefits by failing to disclose that her children’s father lived with them.

 

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.  The charge of making a false statement provides 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.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

 

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, made the announcement.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.