AUGUSTA — Two people were sentenced Thursday on benefits fraud charges.

Chad E. Gilley, 44, of Sidney and Loretta Reynolds, 52, of Embden were sentenced during separate hearings at the Capital Judicial Center.

Gilley, who had pleaded guilty previously to charges of aggravated forgery and theft by deception, was given a fully suspended three-year sentence and placed on probation for two years.

His attorney, Lisa Whittier, said that was the sentence anticipated if Gilley completed a nine-month inpatient substance abuse treatment program.

“He’s getting the benefit of doing the work completely on his own,” she said, adding that he had begun the program before the charges were brought.

According to an indictment, Gilley falsified employment income statements which he provided to the Social Security Administration between Jan. 25 and Feb. 3, 2016, and he “did commit theft by obtaining or exercising control over money” belonging to Social Security between Nov. 1, 2013, and Feb. 29, 2016, all in Winslow.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Kate Marshall, told the judge that restitution is not requested because Gilley’s Social Security benefits are being garnished to repay the more than $6,000 due.

Gilley told Judge Eric Walker that he spent the past nine months living at MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Hearthside intensive treatment program. Gilley also said he had received federal benefits since his bipolar diagnosis 18 years ago.

Walker said he was initially surprised that the jointly recommended sentence did not include some time behind bars because of Gilley’s prior criminal record, but then after attorneys offered more details, said, “It does not make much sense to throw Mr. Gilley back in jail after nine months of in-patient treatment.”

He told Gilley, “You’ve come a long way Mr. Gilley. Unfortunately a lot of people in the community are unable to get the help you have.”

Conditions of probation prohibit Gilley from the use and possession of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Reynolds was sentenced to an initial eight months behind bars with the remainder of the three-year term suspended while she serves three years’ probation.

She had pleaded guilty Jan. 6, 2017, to charges of theft by deception and unsworn falsification, and the sentence was agreed-upon at the time. However, imposition was delayed because she had various medical problems.

On Thursday at a brief hearing, Walker imposed that sentence, including the order to pay $36,553 restitution for the Department of Health and Human Services. She was ordered to report to the Kennebec County jail Aug. 30.

The indictment charged her with obtaining more than $10,000 from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Dec. 1, 2003-Oct. 31, 2015, by falsely giving the impression that her husband was not living with her and not contributing to the household income. She also pleaded guilty to a count of misdemeanor unsworn falsification from July 9, 2015. Both offenses occurred in Kennebec County.

On Jan. 4, 2017, her husband, William Reynolds, now 54, of South China, pleaded guilty to theft by deception that occurred Nov. 1, 2014-Oct. 31, 2015, in Kennebec and Knox counties and unsworn falsification Oct. 13, 2015, in Kennebec County.

He received a four-year Department of Corrections sentence, with all but the initial six months suspended and three years’ probation. He was ordered to pay $35,901 restitution.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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