A Rumford man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday to Social Security fraud and theft of public money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Raymond J. Brenneis, 59, faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank said in news release that Brenneis had been receiving Supplemental Security Income since 1995 – a benefit for people who are blind, disabled or elderly.

Between 2015-2017, Brenneis also received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and state SSI benefits. He told state and federal administrators that he was living alone and not receiving help or assistance from any other person, which allowed him to receive those benefits.

“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,” Frank said. “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 will be sentenced after a presentence investigation report is completed by the U.S. Probate Office.

The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the Maine Department of Health and Human Service’s Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit.

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