Former Dover Resident Sentenced For Stealing Children’s Social Security Benefits
CONCORD, N.H. - Arthur Nunes, III, 41, formerly of Dover, New Hampshire, was sentenced to serve 13 months in federal prison for making a false statement to obtain Social Security benefits, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in February of 2012, Nunes submitted an application for Child’s Insurance Benefits to the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of his two children based on the earnings record of their mother, who had passed away in January of 2012. On the application, he indicated that the children resided with him. The application was approved and Nunes, as the children’s representative payee, began receiving monthly benefits in March of 2012. As their representative payee, Nunes was responsible for using the benefits he received on behalf of his children for their current needs, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical care.
In reality, however, after the death of their mother in January 2012, Nunes’s children lived with another relative and Nunes used his children’s benefits for his own use. Nunes’s concealment of his children’s true residency and his failure to use the benefits for their needs caused him to get $36,526 in Child’s Insurance Benefits payments that he was not entitled to receive.
Nunes, who pleaded guilty on October 27, 2017, also was ordered to pay $36,526 in restitution.
“Federal benefit programs provide an important source of support for many deserving families,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “Unfortunately, there are some individuals who attempt to defraud the system and obtain money that they are not entitled to receive. The U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General to ensure that those who attempt to defraud the SSA are identified and prosecuted so that government funds are available for those who should be receiving them.”
“As this sentence demonstrates, the SSA OIG is committed to investigating cases of representative payee fraud, which involves the theft of government funds and harm to innocent children who are deserving of Social Security benefits,” said Scott Antolik, Special Agent-in-Charge of the SSA Office of the Inspector General Boston Field Division. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute all forms of Social Security fraud.”
This matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Berwick, Maine Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew T. Hunter and Karen B. Burzycki.