A Lakewood man accused of receiving more than $150,000 in Social Security disability insurance benefits pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal wire fraud charge.
Valentino Valeriu Agignoae, 55, was accused of fraudulently receiving money from the Social Security Administration between January 2007 through April 2015, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois in Rockford.
In total, the U.S. government suffered a loss of about $157,503, according to the release.
Agignoae began receiving Social Security Administration disability insurance benefits in 1996. Those benefits were terminated in 2015, following a multi-year investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, according to the release.
The investigation revealed that part of Agignoae’s scheme included his failure to notify the Social Security Administration that he was able to work and was working at a restaurant in Chicago, which he owned in part. Agignoae also was accused of lying and making false representations about his prior work and employment.
He is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 13 and faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence.