Decade-Long Social Security Fraud Scheme Leads to Federal Prison Time
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Delaware:
WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that a Seaford man was sentenced yesterday to 30 days imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release for defrauding the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) of nearly $150,000 through a scheme that lasted more than a decade. The sentence was pronounced by Chief U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly.
According to court documents, Marques Fountain, 42, collected another man’s SSA retirement benefits after the beneficiary died. The man, for whom Fountain served as a caretaker, passed away in 2009. The SSA, however, continued to deposit the deceased man’s SSA retirement benefits into a bank account controlled by Fountain. For more than a decade, Fountain accessed and used these SSA retirement benefits for his personal expenses. After admitting that he knew stealing the money was wrong, Fountain pleaded guilty in October 2021.
U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Social Security Administration benefits provide much needed assistance to the most vulnerable members of our society. Mr. Fountain spent a decade stealing from the federal government. Thanks to the work of the SSA Office of the Inspector General, Fountain will now spend time in federal prison and be required to pay full restitution to the government.”
“Mr. Fountain chose to defraud the Social Security Administration rather than report the beneficiary’s death to use for his personal gain for more than ten years. Today’s sentencing shows that concealing death reports from SSA to obtain deceased benefits is a serious criminal offense,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the SSA. “We will continue to pursue those who defraud SSA programs, and I appreciate the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Howland prosecuted the case, which was investigated by SSA’s Office of the Inspector General.