Hampton Falls Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Funds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Hampshire:
CONCORD - Kelley Bevin, 53, of Hampton Falls, pleaded guilty in federal court to theft of government funds, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Bevin’s mother passed away in May 2016. At the time of her death, Bevin’s mother was receiving monthly Social Security benefits in a bank account. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) was not informed of her death until April 2020, resulting in an overpayment of $80,826. Several weeks before her mother’s death, Bevin acquired the bank card for her mother’s account. Over the course of four years, Bevin used the card to access her deceased mother’s bank account and spent the funds.
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economics Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act provided for, among other things, $1,200 stimulus payments to Americans under certain income thresholds. However, deceased persons were not entitled to those payments. The U.S. Treasury deposited a $1,200 stimulus payment into the bank account of Bevin’s mother. Bevin was not entitled to that payment, but it was among the funds she unlawfully converted to her own use.
In total, Bevin stole $82,026 in SSA benefits and COVID-19 stimulus payments that she was not entitled to receive.
Bevin is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11, 2022.
“Social Security and CARES Act benefits provide important financial support for qualified recipients,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “In order to protect the integrity of these federal programs, we will not hesitate to pursue criminal charges against those who steal federal benefits. I am grateful the Office of Inspector General for its investigative efforts in this case.”
“Bevin misused Social Security benefits intended for her deceased mother for several years and additionally, she stole money intended to help a population struggling with the economic effects of the coronavirus. This should stand as a warning to anyone who is receiving and misusing Social Security benefits intended for someone else,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “Anyone who fails to report a death to Social Security should take heed of this guilty plea and know that we will come knocking on the door. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Chen for pursuing this case and holding her accountable.”
This matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander S. Chen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.