A former Maine man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to 18 months in federal prison for lying in August 2017 to obtain a new Social Security number.
Lachlan Olen Granite, formerly known as Scott Edward Bounds, 54, of Center Ossipee, New Hampshire, believed that getting a new Social Security number would allow him to avoid paying alimony and child support, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
He also thought that with a new Social Security number and card, he would get a new driver’s license, according to court documents. Granite’s driver’s license had been suspended for nonpayment of child support.
The exact amount he owes in alimony and back child support was not listed in court documents but a garnish order was entered a week after Granite applied for a new card, according to court documents. It ordered that more than $1,948 be withheld per month from any benefits Granite might receive.
Granite lived in Parsonsfield in August 2017 when he applied for the new card at the Social Security office in Saco, court documents said.
In July 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud but remained free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
The investigation into Granite’s past began after he sought a Social Security number claiming he had never had one before or received government benefits, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty. Granite told the Social Security worker in the Saco office that he had recently moved to Maine after being excommunicated from an Amish community in Illinois.
The employee learned that Granite had been granted a name change by Newport, New Hampshire District Court, in June 2017, according to the court documents. Further research showed that Bounds was first issued a Social Security card in 1976 and a replacement card in 1987.
In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge George Singal sentenced Granite to three years of supervised release. He also ordered Granite to pay back alimony and child support
Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Granite faced between 12 and 18 months in prison. The federal prosecutor recommended the sentence imposed.
Granite’s defense attorney, Clifford Strike of Portland, urged the judge to place his client on probation or to impose a short sentence.
Strike is appealing Granite’s sentence to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.