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Berwick Woman Pleads Guilty to Yearslong Fraud to Obtain Benefits

May 24, 2024

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

PORTLAND, Maine: A Berwick woman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland to Social Security fraud.

According to court records, from about December 2008 to February 2020, Suzanne Hercock, 46, lied to the Social Security Administration (SSA) about the presence of her husband, the children’s father, in the household, to fraudulently collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments on behalf of her children.

In multiple benefit eligibility reviews, Hercock falsely represented to the SSA that she and her husband lived separately. She failed to disclose her husband’s presence and income despite knowing that she was required to and that it would affect her eligibility to receive benefits.

Hercock faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 followed by up to three years of supervised release. The Court may also order Hercock to pay restitution to the SSA. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

SSA’s Office of the Inspector General investigated the case.

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