CONCORD — A Northfield man has been sentenced to probation and ordered to repay more than $91,000 in Social Security benefits he received illegitimately over a span of 3½ years, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray.
Robert Gallagher Sr., 51, was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for making false statements to obtain Social Security disability insurance benefits.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Gallagher applied for disability insurance benefits in May 2012, at which time he falsely claimed he had been unable to work since 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Concord said. Gallagher concealed his work activity at Titan Automotive Repair in Manchester from Social Security and, as a result, began receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits in October 2013 and continued to do so until March 2017.
In December 2016, during an in-person work activity review, Gallagher again told Social Security that he had not been working. But in 2017, during an audit of Department of Motor Vehicle inspections by New Hampshire State Police, Gallagher told the inspector that he worked approximately 47 hours per week as both a mechanic and state vehicle inspector. Gallagher subsequently admitted to an investigator from the Office of the Inspector General, that he had worked since 2008 and that he had lied to Social Security when he claimed that he was not working. As a result of his concealment, from October 2013 through March 2017 Gallagher was paid Social Security disability insurance benefits that he was not entitled to receive. All told, Gallagher received $91,539 in benefits.
Gallagher pleaded guilty to the charge in U.S. District Court last Nov. 13.
Under the terms of the sentencing order Gallagher is required to pay the $91,539 in restitution within six months.
“By prosecuting offenders like Gallagher, we deliver a strong message that this type of fraud won’t be tolerated,” said Scott Antolik, special agent-in-charge of the Social Security OIG’s Boston Field Division. “Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those who choose to defraud the Social Security Administration. These cases are vigorously pursued, and we will continue to work jointly with the U.S. Attorney, and our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute fraud perpetrators in the future.”
This matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the New Hampshire State Police. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.