Staff Report

An Oakland woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing more than $1,000 in Supplemental Security Income benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Laura Mathieu, 50, submitted a false statement to the Social Security Administration that was used to determine her eligibility for benefits, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II. The benefits are paid to people who are disabled and have low income and few resources.

According to records from the U.S. District Court in Bangor, Mathieu falsely stated her household was limited to herself and her children and denied receiving any other help or financial assistance, when in fact she was living with her husband, who was providing financial assistance, according to the release.

Mathieu knew that she had to disclose truthfully her living arrangements and the income earned by any member of her household. She confessed to investigators that she had concealed that information because she thought the information would disqualify her from receiving benefits.

Mathieu faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She will be sentenced after completion of a pre-sentence report by the U.S. Probation Office.

The investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General of the Social Security Administration.