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Fraud Investigation - Sara Mae O'Donnell


DefendantSara Mae O'Donnell, age 31, of Topton, PA


  • Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition
  • Theft by Deception
  • Theft of Property Lost, Mislaid or Delivered by Mistake
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received
On April 27, 2017, Detectives from the Berks County District Attorney Detectives Crime Unit conducted a joint investigation with agents from the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division regarding a fraud investigation.

During the investigation, agents/detectives learned that Sara Mae O'Donnell (defendant) was granted custody of a juvenile female in September 2010. The juvenile's mother previously passed away, resulting in the defendant being granted survivor benefits on behalf of the juvenile. The defendant subsequently began receiving Social Security benefits on behalf of the juvenile. In September 2013, the custody of the juvenile was transferred to another adult. As a result, the benefits should have no longer been received by the defendant. The defendant received $22,374.00 in survivor benefits that were meant for the juvenile between September 2013 and September 2016. The defendant used this money for her own personal gain.

Subsequently, detectives obtained a warrant of arrest for Sara Mae O'Donnell for violation of the aforementioned listed charges. The warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge Victor Frederick.

On July 20, 2017, the defendant surrendered to Berks County District Attorney Detectives in their office. She was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Frederick. The defendant was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.