Last week, the husband of Democratic Rhode Island legislator Deborah A. Fellela (D-Johnston) plead guilty to five counts of Social Security fraud, theft of government funds, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Henry A. Fellala Jr. faces 37 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines. His sentencing is slated for July 1.
Fellala bagged over $58,000 in Social Security benefits over eight years by claiming he was homeless even though he lived with Rep. Fellela, reports the Providence Journal. In 1999, Fellela’s Social Security benefits were canceled after being convicted of credit card fraud and mail theft. Then, after his prison sentence, Fellela once again signed up for Social Security benefits on the grounds he suffered mental illness and falsely claimed he had no permanent residence.
As for his credit card fraud charges, Fellela used an 85-year-old man’s credit card without permission to buy a big screen television with 3-D glasses, clothes from a Casual Male Big & Tall store, and gas. The charges totaled over $3,000.
This is not the first time Fellela has used another person’s credit card without consent. In 2009, Fellela admitted to using someone’s credit card to withdraw $400.