Vermont Woman Sentenced to Prison for Supplemental Security Income Fraud

Date: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Connie Forrest, 57, of Pittsford, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Burlington to three months of imprisonment following her guilty plea to a charge of Social Security fraud. Chief U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss also ordered that Forrest serve a one-year period of supervised release following her prison term. As a condition of supervised release, Forrest must serve an additional three months of home confinement. Judge Reiss directed Forrest to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on January 9 to begin serving her sentence.

Last June, Forrest pleaded guilty to a single-count information charging her with Social Security fraud. According to the information and court records, beginning in about 1995, Forrest became disabled and began receiving monthly Supplemental Security Income benefits from the Social Security Administration. The SSI program provides stipends to low-income individuals who are 65-years-old or older; are blind; or are disabled. Applicants for SSI have to certify that their income and assets are below threshold levels, and are under a duty to inform the Social Security Administration about changes in their financial circumstances that could affect their continuing eligibility for SSI benefits.

In her guilty plea, Forrest admitted that, between about 2009 and early 2016, she concealed from SSA the fact that she maintained employment as a nurse aide, and earned substantial income (more than $470,000) from that employment. As a result of Forrest’s deception, SSA paid her more than $79,000 in SSI benefits that she was not entitled to receive. Forrest did not report any of this income to the Internal Revenue Service, and did not pay any income taxes.

Last month, Forrest repaid the Social Security Administration in full for the benefits she unlawfully received.

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

Forrest is represented by Peter Langrock. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.