Woman Sentenced To Prison For Stealing Social Security Benefits

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LINDEN – A 50-year-old Union Beach woman was sentenced to three years in state prison last week after pleading guilty to forgery and theft charges.

Rosemarie Gonzalez Rodriguez was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $81,210 to the Social Security Administration and $91,553.32 to the NJ Division of Pension and Benefits by Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Perfilio.

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Linden Det. Sgt. Alvaro Goncalves began an 11-week investigation in February after the city’s police department received an anonymous tip alleging that Rodriguez was fraudulently collecting Social Security and state pension benefits.

Goncalves’ investigation, assisted by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, New York Division, determined that Rodriguez had collected approximately $175,000 in benefits in the name of Michael Leone, a Linden resident who passed away in 2004.

Rodriguez initially told investigators in 2010 that Leone was still alive but not available to talk to them on the phone for a variety of reasons, authorities said. On May 4, Goncalves and Linden Detective David Dehler arrested her.


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