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Husband and wife plead guilty to federal fraud charges

Stealing money from Social Security is a serious crime that may obviously produce severe repercussions, if charged and convicted. Merely being accused of fraud or other white collar theft in Pennsylvania, however, is not proof of one's guilt. In some circumstances, however, some defendants determine it is within their best interests to plead guilty in court. This is often accomplished alongside experienced legal counsel and as part of a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors.

In a recent situation in another state, a couple is awaiting sentencing after entering guilty pleas regarding federal charges against them. One of the defendants, a 45-year-old man, applied for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, claiming that he was unable to work due to chronic pain in his back. He is said to have agreed to notify appropriate officials if his condition improved.

Over the next 11 years, the man reportedly collected more than $270,000 in benefits. During that time, he and his wife launched their own construction business for which he often provided labor. The man is also said to have helped his father build homes before starting his own business.

In 2003, the same man filed a continued disability report, in which he stated he had done no physical labor since his last application for benefits. His wife also wrote that her husband was in constant pain, even when attempting basic movements, such as tying his own shoelaces. They have since admitted their statements were false. Whether those facing similar fraud charges in Pennsylvania should plead guilty depends on a number of important factors, including the weight of the prosecution's proposed evidence; anyone in need of guidance may contact a criminal defense lawyer for assistance.

Source: whig.com, "Maywood couple admits guilt in federal Social Security fraud case", Don O'Brien, Sept. 1, 2016

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