The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced that Daniel Chase, 60, of Weathersfield, VT, pleaded not guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to charges that he made false statements to the Social Security Administration. U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Doyle released Chase on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.
On May 20, a federal grand jury in Burlington returned an indictment charging Chase with three counts of making false statements to the Social Security Administration. In June 2020, Chase’s spouse, who had been receiving Social Security disability payments, died. Upon learning of the spouse’s death, SSA stopped the spouse’s monthly payment, which was about $867. The indictment charges that, in an effort to get his spouse’s benefit payments reinstated, Chase repeatedly made false claims to SSA that he was the spouse, that he was alive and that the payments had been wrongly terminated. Chase also submitted forged documents to SSA purportedly as proof that the spouse was alive.
The Acting U.S. Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.
If convicted, Chase faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
This case was investigated by SSA’s Office of Inspector General and Vermont’s Department of Children and Families.
Chase is represented by Ian Carleton. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.
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