Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Raymond J. Brenneis, 59, of Rumford, Maine, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to Social Security fraud and theft of public money.
According to court records, since 1995, Brenneis has received Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits which are paid to people with limited income who are blind, disabled, or elderly. Between 2015 and 2017, Brenneis also received Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (“SNAP”) and Maine State SSI Supplement benefits. Brenneis told the federal and state programs administering the benefit programs that he was living alone and not receiving help or money from any other person. In fact, from 2011 to 2017, Brenneis lived with his wife whose receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits rendered him ineligible for benefits he received. Brenneis told investigators that he concealed his actual living arrangements because he knew his wife’s benefits would make him ineligible to receive the benefits.
Brenneis faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for Social Security fraud, and up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for theft of public money. He also faces up to three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the Maine Department of Health & Human Service’s Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Maine