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NJ Man Admits to Defrauding Government of Over $200,000 in Benefits

Gloucester County

By: Tracie Carter 

A Gloucester County man has admitted to defrauding the government of more than $200,000 in Social Security and Medicaid benefits, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Monday. FitnessDennis Gaudette, 72, of Franklinville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Christine P. O’Hearn in Camden federal court to a charge of Social Security fraud.

According to court documents and statements, Gaudette began his fraudulent activities in March 2009, using the identity of a deceased individual to apply for and receive Social Security and Medicaid benefits.

Between 2009 and 2023, Gaudette illegally collected $43,464 in Social Security Retirement Income Benefits and $85,332.50 in Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Additionally, the state of New Jersey paid $88,993 in Medicaid benefits for medical care, testing, and medications that Gaudette received under the deceased individual's name.

Throughout the scheme, Gaudette concealed his true identity and eligibility, hiding the fact that his actual age, income, and resources disqualified him from receiving these benefits.

The Social Security fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross profits or gross loss, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for October 15, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger highlighted the serious nature of Gaudette's actions and reaffirmed the commitment of his office to prosecuting those who defraud government programs meant to assist those in genuine need.