Conway couple plead guilty to disability, worker’s compensation fraud

troot@thesunnews.comJuly 16, 2013 

— A Conway couple pleaded guilty in federal court to theft of government funds, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Joseph Phillip Curto, 59, and Catherine Curto, 53, both of Conway, to theft of government funds and U.S. District Judge R. Bryan Harwell accepted the pleas but will sentence the couple after he has reviewed a presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office, according to the release.

Prosecutors said that in July 1992, Joseph Curto began receiving Social Security disability benefits for a back injury and Ohio workers compensation benefits, according to the release. In February 2011, an investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and a Social Security Administration agent began an investigation and determined that Joseph Curto had been working at various jobs since November 2001.

Joseph Curto also married Catherine Curto in 2001 and she allowed Joseph Curto to use her social security number when working, according to the release. Joseph Curto’s employers used Catherine Curto’s social security number when filing 10-99's, which allowed Joseph Curto to hide that he was working.

The Curto’s were overpaid $155,618.00 by the Social Security Administration and $143,202.00 by Ohio Workers Compensation, according to the release. The Curtos face up to $250,000 and/or 10 years in prison.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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