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John O’Hara, Jr. Pleads Guilty to Stealing Social Security Benefit Payments

July 14, 2022

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Vermont:

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that John O’Hara, Jr., 43, of White River Junction, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge that he fraudulently converted tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security benefit payments. U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss released O’Hara on conditions pending sentencing, which is scheduled for November 3.

On June 10, 2022, the U.S. Attorney filed a one-count information charging O’Hara with receiving stolen Government money. O’Hara pleaded guilty to that charge today. According to court records, O’Hara’s father, John O’Hara, Sr., received monthly Social Security benefit payments that were deposited into O’Hara Sr.’s bank account in Florida. O’Hara Sr. died in February 2018, at which time his SSA benefits should have terminated. O’Hara Jr. never notified SSA of his father’s death and SSA continued to make benefit payments to O’Hara Sr.’s account until October 2020. O’Hara Jr. fraudulently converted those unauthorized payments to his own use by transferring the funds to an account he controlled in North Carolina, and then accessing those funds from Vermont for personal purposes. The total loss to the Social Security Administration is about $51,000.

O’Hara faces up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence will be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

This case was investigated by the SSA’s Office of Inspector General.

O’Hara Jr. is represented by David Silver, Esq. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

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