BANGOR, Maine — A Pembroke woman involved in a smash-and-grab burglary three years ago was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to two years of probation for making false statements to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for her boyfriend.
Rosemary Peterson, 29, was ordered to pay $11,874 in restitution, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
She pleaded guilty to the charge in May but has been free on $1,000 unsecured bail.
From April 2011 until November 2012, Peterson was designated as the representative payee for disability benefits for Clifford John Sprague, 37, of Exeter, according to a press release issued by the federal prosecutor’s office. Peterson claimed that her boyfriend did not work outside the house and required someone to clean, bathe, dress and cook for him.
Peterson had lived with Sprague for several years and was well aware that he did not have disabilities that required her to clean, bathe, dress and cook for him, the release said. She was also aware that her boyfriend did a significant amount of work outside the house, including working as a scrap metal dealer, carpenter and woodcutter.
Sprague pleaded guilty in September in federal court in Bangor to one count each of making fraudulent statements to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and of being an accessory after the fact to a March 10, 2012, pharmacy robbery in Guilford. His sentencing date has not been set.
Peterson was sentenced in October 2013 in state court to two years in prison with all but nine months suspended for her role in the aftermath of a break-in at a Corinth convenience store on June 22, 2012. She pleaded guilty to one count each of burglary and theft. She began serving her sentence at the Penobscot County Jail on Oct. 21, 2013, according to previously published reports.
Sprague was held without bail on state charges at the Penobscot County Jail from June 2012 until he pleaded guilty to the federal charges for his role in the smash-and-grab burglary at the Corinth store. Information about where he is being held currently was not available Wednesday.
He pleaded no contest in March 2013 to arson, burglary, aggravated criminal mischief and theft for his role in the A.E. Robinson break-in and has been awaiting sentencing for those crimes.
His sentencing agreement with the Penobscot County district attorney’s office calls for him to be sentenced on the state charges after he is sentenced for the federal crimes.
The maximum penalty for making false statements to obtain Social Security benefits is five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sprague faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for aiding and abetting the pharmacy robber.
On the state charges, his plea agreement calls for the prosecution to recommend a sentence of 12 years. His attorney will be free to argue for a lesser sentence.