Winslow Man Pleads Guilty to Social Security Fraud

Date: 
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Office Affiliation: 

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

BANGOR, Maine: A Winslow man pleaded guilty today in federal court to Social Security fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced.

According to court records, Robert Curtis, 63, was a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments beginning in February 2011. SSDI benefits are paid to people who are blind or disabled. He also was a recipient of MaineCare coverage beginning in April 2010 and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit payments beginning in February 2011. These programs have reporting requirements for work activity and income, which can affect eligibility for benefits.

During the time he was receiving benefits under these programs, Curtis worked as a medication deliverer. He also served as the lead plaintiff in a civil suit for lost wages, alleging that he should have been classified as an employee instead of an independent contractor, for which he was awarded over $21,000. Curtis failed to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Maine Department of Health & Human Services (ME/DHHS) of his work activity and income, despite periodic reminders that he was required to report it. He also denied any such activity to SSA in a continuing disability review in 2013, and to ME/DHHS in annual reviews from 2011 to 2017, because he knew it could affect his eligibility for benefits. As a result, he improperly received over $92,000 in SSDI benefits, almost $12,000 in SNAP benefits, and over $13,000 in MaineCare benefits.

Curtis faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

SSA’s Office of the Inspector General and ME/DHHS investigated the case.