CONCORD – April Carroll, 62, of Fremont, pleaded guilty in federal court to social security fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Carroll received Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits for over 9 years. Applicants for certain disability benefits, including SSI, must have limited income and resources in order to qualify for assistance. The incomes of all members of a household are considered when determining an individual’s eligibility for SSI benefits.
After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain social security disability benefits, in December 2010, Carroll successfully applied for SSI benefits by falsely claiming that she and her husband were separated and that her husband did not provide for any of her living expenses. In reality, she and her husband had lived together for more than 10 years and they comingled their assets, sharing in their household and other living expenses. Based on these false statements, SSA granted Carroll’s claim and began paying her social security disability benefits on April 1, 2011. Had Carroll told SSA the truth about her finances and living situation she would not have been eligible to receive SSI benefits.
SSA occasionally interviewed Carroll to determine if she remained entitled to benefits. During interviews in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 Carroll again falsely claimed that she did not live with her husband and that she did not receive any financial support from him. On February 20, 2020, investigators interviewed Carroll at her home. During the interview, she admitted that she and her husband co-own their home and that they have a joint bank account where they comingle their assets. Carroll also admitted that her husband does not have an alternate address, lives full time at her residence, and that she should have reported this to the SSA. When asked about her prior claim to SSA that her husband had not lived with her for years, Carroll said “I lied.”
Due to Carroll’s concealment and false statements, SSA paid Carroll $77,953.00 in SSI benefits she was not entitled to receive.
Carroll is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2, 2020.
“Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits provide essential monetary support to qualified individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “The program is seriously undermined when applicants lie to obtain benefits. Persons who engage in this type of deceptive behavior will be held accountable in federal court.”
This matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Hunter.