PORTLAND, Maine: A Berwick woman pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Portland to Social Security fraud and theft of public money, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.
According to court records, from about March 2009 to February 2020, Andreanna Politano, 59, concealed the presence of her husband in her household to maintain her eligibility to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. SSI benefits are paid to people with limited income who are blind, disabled or elderly. Politano also concealed her husband’s presence from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from about January 2018 to June 2021, during which time she received housing voucher subsidy benefits. Politano’s husband had sufficient income to render her ineligible for the benefits she received.
In multiple reviews of her eligibility for benefits, Politano falsely represented to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that she and her husband had separated in October 2008 and had lived separately since that time. In an interview with law enforcement agents, she admitted concealing her living situation from SSA and HUD because she knew it would make her ineligible to receive benefits.
Politano faces up to five years in prison on the Social Security fraud charge and up to 10 years in prison on the theft of public money charge, a fine of up to $250,000 on each charge, and up to three years of supervised release. She will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The investigation was conducted by SSA’s Office of the Inspector General and HUD’s Office of the Inspector General.