Fraud case indictment

The Baltimore Sun

A federal grand jury has indicted a Baltimore County public school teacher from Middle River on charges of using a second Social Security number to defraud the government out of more than $180,000 in benefits, authorities said.

Beverly J. Beard, 52, was arrested yesterday after being indicted Wednesday on four counts of Social Security fraud and making false statements. She illegally collected Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and federal housing assistance payments, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

She has worked since August 2001 as a full-time teacher with the Baltimore County public schools, prosecutors said. The school system confirmed yesterday that Beard is employed as a teacher, but schools spokeswoman Kara Calder said she was unable to determine where Beard worked..

Earlier, Beard was employed from August 1995 to June 2001 as a full-time teacher with the Baltimore City public schools, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Prosecutors said Beard obtained two Social Security numbers, one in 1969 and one in 1970. She later used one of them to claim benefits that she was ineligible to collect. She obtained SSI payments beginning in 1993 by claiming that she was disabled by varicose veins in her leg, received federal Section 8 housing assistance from 1985 to January 2007, and started collecting Medicaid payments in 1998, prosecutors said.

Beard used the other Social Security number for employment records and bank accounts, prosecutors said.

She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for making false statements and five years in prison for Social Security fraud, prosecutors said.

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