Conway couple pleads guilty to theft of government funds

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – A Conway couple received nearly $300,000 in overpayments, U.S. district court officials stated; investigators determined the husband was working while collecting federal and state money for a back injury.

The couple pleaded guilty to theft of government funds in U.S. District court.

Joseph Curto, 59, began receiving Social Security Disability benefits in 1992 for a back injury, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney in South Carolina. At the same time, he began receiving Ohio Workers Compensation Benefits.

In February of 2011, investigators from both SSA and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation began investigating Joseph Curto, and found he had been working in various jobs since 2001, using the social security number of his wife, Catherine Curto.

This allowed Curto to hide the fact that he was working, and he was overpaid $155,618 by the SSA and $143,202 by Ohio Workers Compensation, the release states.

The Curtos face a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.