Bladen County Political Consultant Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property and Social Security Fraud

/

GREENVILLE, N.C. – A Bladenboro man pleaded guilty today to theft of government property and Social Security fraud.

According to court documents, Leslie McCrae Dowless, 65, defrauded the Social Security Administration by concealing his work and income while receiving monthly benefits payments.  In February 2013, Dowless applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  In the application, Dowless claimed that he was unable to work due to a disability.  Dowless received SSI benefits until July 2018, when he applied for Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB).  In his application for RIB, Dowless stated that he did not expect to work in 2018 and had not worked in the two years preceding his application.  Dowless received RIB benefits through November 2018. Dowless was required to report certain events to the Social Security Administration, including changes in his work activity, income, or resources.

Breaking News:  Local 394 Union Leader Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

Unbeknownst to the Social Security Administration, Dowless worked as a consultant for at least two political campaigns during the 2018 Midterm Elections.  From March 2017 to November 2018, Dowless received at least 59 checks totaling $135,365.57 for consulting work. Dowless failed to report his work and income to the Social Security Administration.

Dowless pleaded guilty to theft of government property, 18 U.S.C. § 641, and Social Security Fraud, 42 U.S.C. § 1383a(a)(3) and faces a maximum penalty of 180 months in prison when sentenced on August 23, 2021.


G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the plea. The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the Federal Burea of Investigation are investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan is prosecuting the case.

Breaking News:  “Very Dangerous Person” from Waterloo Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:20-CR-53-B0.

U.S. Attorney’s

Heroin Education Action Team

 

If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721 or e-mail at: disaster@leo.gov  

 

Hurricane Florence

PSA: National Center for Disaster Fraud

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.


 

Breaking News:  Amsterdam Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

Learn More

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.


 

Learn More