Montville man ordered to pay back Social Security benefits

A federal judge in New Haven Friday sentenced a 58-year-old Montville man to three years of probation and ordered him to pay more than $42,000 in restitution for illegally receiving Social Security benefits for four years.

John Francis Williams was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven.

Authorities said Williams' birth name was Russell Fithian. Sometime prior to 1993, however, he obtained a Social Security card and birth certificate of a John Francis Williams. That same year he applied for and received a replacement Social Security card in the name of John Francis Williams. He has used the name John Francis Williams ever since and legally changed his name in 2013.

In 2009, Williams applied for Social Security retirement income benefits under the name of John Francis Williams, who would have turned 62 that year and had reached eligible retirement age. Williams was 54 at the time of his application and was not eligible for retirement benefits under his true identity.

He received monthly benefits totaling $42,156.20 until February 2013.

On Oct. 8, 2013, Williams pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.

The case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Felice Duffy.

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