PITTSBURGH, PA- Two residents of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania have each been sentenced in federal court to three years’ probation after being convicted of theft of government money, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today. Additionally, the defendants were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25,164, which is the total amount of the benefits that the couple received but were not entitled to receive.
United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentences on Tara Jo Frain, 34, and Danny Ray Alexander, 46, of Apollo, Pa.
According to information presented to the court, Frain and Alexander, who were married in May of 2012, had been receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments prior to their marriage. Although Frain and Alexander were each informed of their responsibility to report to the Social Security Administration (SSA) any changes affecting their eligibility to receive SSI, including their marital status, they each neglected to inform the SSA of their marriage and continued to receive benefits to which they were not entitled from May 2012 to December 2016. Frain and Alexander’s marital status was material to the SSA’s decision to pay benefits because the SSA would have imputed each spouse’s income to the other. Additionally, on September 10, 2016, both Frain and Alexander submitted signed statements to the SSA falsely claiming that they were not married.
Assistant United States Attorneys Rebecca L. Silinski and Adam N. Hallowell prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Frain and Alexander.