What to Know
- ExNYPD lieutenant was arrested and charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing more than $130,000 in Social Security benefits
- 60-year-old Michael Conway, of Queens, collected the money over a span of 10 years, according to prosecutors
- Prosecutors say the money was intended for his children
A former NYPD lieutenant was arrested and charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing more than $130,000 in Social Security benefits intended for his children over the span of 10 years.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue announced Wednesday the charges against 60-year-old Michael Conway, of Queens.
If convicted, Conway faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and restitution. He is expected to make a court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Brooklyn.
Attorney information for Conway was not immediately known.
According to the complaint, Conway, a former member of the NYPD began receiving Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration in May 2009 for a work-related injury he suffered while employed by the NYPD. Eligible family members may also receive RSDI benefits, or auxiliary benefits.
In August 2009, according to the complaint, Conway applied for auxiliary benefits on behalf of his twin children, who were 8-years-old at the time.
Allegedly, Conway falsely claimed that his children resided with him in Queens and that no other relatives provided financial support for the children. Based on the false information provided by the defendant, the SSA approved the application and granted Conway’s request to receive and manage the SSA funds to which his children were entitled, the complaint says.
Conway’s fraud was uncovered when his son, upon applying to the SSA for benefits, learned that SSA had been paying benefits to Conway on his children’s behalf since 2009 and that Conway had received a total of $138,016.60, according to the complaint.
The twins’ mother allegedly informed the SSA that she was awarded custody of the children in December 2002 and they had never lived with Conway.
“This arrest should serve as a warning to those who choose to defraud Social Security’s disability programs,” SSA Inspector General Gail S. Ennis said in a statement. “We vigorously pursue fraud allegations, and work closely with United States Attorney’s Offices across the country to bring offenders to justice.
In a similar statement, Donoghue said: “As alleged in the complaint, for nearly a decade, the defendant committed a fraud on his family and SSA by unlawfully collecting and keeping funds that had been provided for the care of his children based on false statements he made to the government.”
“This Office will remain vigilant in identifying and prosecuting those like the defendant who collect benefits to which they are not entitled,” the statement goes on to say.