Lakewood man pleads guilty of stealing Social Security money over 8 years


File photo | Lakewood village

A Lakewood man on Thursday pleaded guilty to federal charges of more than $ 150,000 over eight years of social security fraud, prosecutors said.

Valentino V. Agignoae, 55, of Lakewood, pleaded guilty to federal state wire fraud charges before US District Judge Joan Lefkow.

The US state prosecutor said Agignoae participated in a program to cheat and get money from the United States, particularly Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Agignoae has received disability insurance benefits from the Social Insurance Institution since 1996.

In 2015, the Agignonae Social Security Administration’s disability insurance benefits were discontinued after a multi-year investigation by the Inspector General’s Social Insurance Administration Office.

From approximately January 2007 to April 2015, Agignoae fraudulently obtained approximately $ 157,503, prosecutors said.

The investigation found that part of Agignoae’s fraud scheme was for him not to notify Social Security that he was able to work and that he was working in a restaurant in Chicago, where he was an owner and a civil servant.

Prosecutors said that he had also made false statements and representations about his previous work and employment.

As part of the guilty plea, Agignoae agreed to repay the $ 157,303 stolen from the government.

The admission of guilt was announced by John Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Andrew Boockmeier, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Inspector General’s Social Security Administration Office.

The government is represented by US Assistant Attorneys Michael C. Beckman, Robert S. Ladd, and Michael D. Love, and US Attorney Special Assistant Niranjan Emani.

Agignoae faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. A verdict before Judge Lefkow is planned for January 13th.

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