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Case Number: 4:19-cr-40026-TSH
Judge: Timothy J. Hillman
Court: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Suffolk County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office
Description: Boston, Massachusetts social security disability benefits fraud charge criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant Rhonda Bernal, age 62, who was charged with fraudulently receiving Social Security disability benefits, MassHealth and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Over a period of approximately eight years, Bernal stole $71,462 in Social Security benefits, $6,444 in MassHealth benefits and $13,505 in SNAP benefits (previously known as Food Stamps). In February 2015, Bernal falsely informed the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance that she was the only person in her household when, in fact, she was living with her husband. In addition, Bernal falsely told Social Security in April 2016 that she and a relative, who was not her husband, were the only members of her household.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Tonya Perkins, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Boston Regional Office; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.
Outcome: The defendant is hereby placed on probation for a term of 2 years. It is ordered that the defendant shall make restitution in the amount of $91,411.00. It is further ordered that the defendant shall pay to the United States a special assessment of $500.00.