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9 December 2004 – First for law news – Federal prosecutors in Santa A…

9 December 2004 – First for law news – Federal prosecutors in Santa Ana have filed charges against nine defendants who are accused of engaging in various types of Social Security fraud. The cases involve a wide variety of fraudulent activity, including fraudulent disability claims, theft of benefits intended for the use of other persons and false claims regarding non-receipt of benefit checks.

A federal grand jury in Santa Ana yesterday returned indictments against seven of the defendants. The two other defendants, including an employee of the Social Security Administration’s Studio City office, were indicted in early November on charges of engaging in a scheme to fraudulently process Social Security card applications and then sell the Social Security cards to illegal aliens.
Below is a summary of the seven cases indicted yesterday.
* Jeffrey Seung Il Kim, 50, of Irvine, was named in a three-count indictment that alleges he defrauded the Social Security Administration (SSA) out of disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Kim owns and operates Jeffrey’s Painting, a house-painting business in Garden Grove. Kim is accused of fraudulently obtaining the disability benefits by falsely claiming that he was unable to work due to a kidney problem and falsely concealing substantial income and assets. The total loss to the government is approximately $50,000. Kim faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $750,000.
* Paul G. Beneventine, 48, of Mission Viejo, was charged in a two-count indictment that alleges he stole Social Security benefits that the SSA paid out for the benefit of his deceased former girlfriend and her minor son. Beneventine allegedly did not disclose his girlfriend’s death to the SSA, and simply converted subsequent benefit payments to his own use. Beneventine is also charged with stealing benefits intended for his girlfriend’s son, even though Beneventine was no longer caring for the child. The total loss to the government is approximately $46,000. Beneventine faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000.
* Guido Roy Smith, 53, of Corona, was charged in a one-count indictment that alleges he stole Social Security benefits that the SSA paid out to his deceased mother following her death. The total loss to the government is approximately $46,000. Smith faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
* Barbara Lee Seaman, 48, of San Jacinto, was charged in a one-count indictment that alleges she stole Social Security benefits that the SSA paid to Seaman for herself and her two children. Seaman allegedly stole and used the benefits over a six-year period even though she did not have custody of her children and thus was not entitled to the benefits. The total loss to the government is approximately $43,000. Seaman faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
* Robin Christine Mayberry, 34, of Huntington Beach, was charged in a two-count indictment that alleges she stole Supplemental Security Income benefits to which she was not entitled and made false statements to the SSA to ensure continued payment of the benefits. Mayberry allegedly made false statements to conceal the fact that she was no longer entitled to the benefits. The total loss to the government is approximately $35,000. Mayberry faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000.
* Maria Lynn Engelmann, 36, of Garden Grove, was charged in a one-count indictment that alleges she stole insurance benefits that the SSA paid out for the benefit of Engelmann’s two children. Engelmann allegedly defrauded the government by regularly making false claims that she had not received her children’s monthly benefit checks, when, in fact, she had. Engelmann then negotiated both the original checks and the replacement checks issued in reliance on her false statements. The total loss to the government is approximately $14,000. Engelmann faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
* Coralee Giese, 56, of Trabuco Canyon, was charged in a two-count indictment that alleges she stole Social Security benefits that the SSA paid out to her deceased mother. The total loss to the government is approximately $8,000. Giese faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The seven defendants indicted yesterday will be summoned to appear for arraignment in United States District Court in Santa Ana on December 13.

In the case involving a Social Security employee, Lorena Colino, 40, of Reseda, and Ramon Rojas, 40, of Pomona, were indicted on November 3, 2004 in a scheme to defraud the government by fraudulently processing Social Security Card applications and then selling the cards to illegal aliens. The nine-count indictment alleges that Colino, who is an employee of the SSA’s Studio City office, knowingly processed a large number of fraudulent applications for Social Security cards based on information provided by Rojas. Colino and Rojas then sold the Social Security cards to illegal aliens who were not entitled to receive the cards.

Colino is scheduled to go on trial on December 28. Rojas is a fugitive.
an indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The fraud cases announced today are the result of investigations conducted by Special Agents from the Santa Ana field office of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.