PORTLAND, Maine: A Waldoboro man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to Social Security fraud, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced.
According to court records, from about February 2000 through May 2018, Wayne Flaherty, 53, a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), concealed his receipt of money from another individual to maintain his eligibility to receive benefit payments. SSI benefits are paid to people with limited income who are blind, disabled or elderly. Flaherty was reportedly receiving at least $1,500 per month from this individual at the time he applied for benefits, but the amounts increased over the years, with Flaherty receiving a total of at least $846,615.18 from February 2012 through July 2017. The individual also provided Flaherty with a home in February 2012.
Flaherty did not notify the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) that he was receiving these payments at any point during the time he was receiving SSI payments, despite knowing he was required to report them. At an interview with law enforcement agents, he admitted to concealing this information from SSA because he was afraid his benefits would have stopped.
Flaherty faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
SSA’s Office of the Inspector General, the Maine Department of Health & Human Services, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.