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Former Bristol Woman Sentenced for Theft of Federal Funds

April 17, 2023

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A former Bristol woman who perpetrated a scheme to fraudulently collect more than $42,000 in Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits earmarked for a disabled child who was no longer in her care or custody was sentenced today to three years of federal probation and ordered to reimburse the Social Security Administration, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Sonia Pimentel, 44, formerly of Bristol, RI, now residing in Norwich, CT, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on December 1, 2022, to a charge of theft of public funds.

Pimentel admitted that, from December 2011 through October 2016, she continued to receive, and to keep for her own personal use, monthly SSI payments totaling $42,346.73; those funds were earmarked for the care of a disabled child who was no longer in her custody or care at the time. The child was, in fact, in the custody and care of his father at that time Pimentel fraudulently and willfully collected and retained the SSI payments.

At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy sentenced Pimentel to three years of federal probation and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $42,346.73 to the Social Security Administration.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.

The matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.

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