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White River Junction Man Sentenced for Stealing Social Security Benefit Payments

November 03, 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, Vermont, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Burlington to three years of probation following his guilty plea to a charge that he fraudulently converted tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security benefit payments. U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss ordered O’Hara to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration in the amount of $51,346.

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 in July. 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 was $51,346.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of 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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