Belchertown Man Sentenced for Social Security Fraud
Jan 9, 2024
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A Belchertown man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Springfield for fraudulently receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Kenneth Pontz, 59, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to 10 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Restitution and forfeiture will be determined at a hearing on March 5, 2024. In August 2023, Pontz was convicted by a federal jury of one count of theft of public funds after a four-day trial.
Over a span of 16 years, Pontz repeatedly made false statements to the Social Security Administration to obtain over $114,000 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled by concealing that he lived with his wife, whose income would have been used in calculating his monthly benefit payment for the needs-based program. Pontz further concealed his living arrangements by reporting that he lived at a vacant lot, rather than the residence he shared with his wife. Additionally, Pontz provided a fraudulent rent receipt that overstated his actual rent by $575 per month.
Also during this time frame, Pontz embezzled approximately $46,000 from his trailer park association in his capacity as treasurer.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Sharon MacDermott, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; and Belchertown Police Chief Kevin Pacunas made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Nagelberg and Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil L. Desroches of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
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