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CT Woman Sentenced For Theft Of Social Security Benefits

A Connecticut woman was sentenced to three months in prison for collecting thousands in Social Security by fraudulent means.
A Connecticut woman was sentenced to three months in prison for collecting thousands in Social Security by fraudulent means. Photo Credit: Facebook/Social Security Administration

A Connecticut woman has been sentenced to three months in prison for illegally receiving Social Security benefits.

Omayra Santiago, 44, of Waterbury, was sentenced on Thursday, Jan. 28, to prison time followed by three years of supervised release, said John Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.d

According to court documents and statements made in court, for approximately 13 years, Santiago received monthly Social Security benefits from the Social Security Administration in the form of Supplemental Security Income. 

 Santiago was the representative payee of her children’s SSI benefits, and she represented to the department that her household’s income, resources, and living arrangements caused the children to be eligible for SSI benefits.

From 2005 to 2018, Santiago made multiple false statements to the SSA in order to qualify for and receive SSI benefits. She failed to disclose that the father of her children owned the Waterbury property in which their family lived and that the father of her children had claimed their children as dependents on his tax returns. 

 Santiago also had received cash and electronic deposits and she did not report as income to the SSA. In addition, in January 2017, Santiago received approximately $220,000 from the settlement of a civil lawsuit, but never disclosed her receipt of the money to the SSA as she knew she was required to do.

Between 2005 and 2018, Santiago collected more than $146,752.86 worth of SSI benefits that she was not entitled to received. 

Santiago was ordered to make full restitution.

In Oct. 2019, Santiago pleaded guilty to one count of theft and conversion of public money.

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