Former Latta Mayor Convicted Of Fraud, Wife Found Innocent Of Charges

Acting United States Attorney Kevin F. McDonald stated that Lenneau Berry, age 58, of Latta, was convicted by a federal jury late Friday in Florence. Lenneau Berry was convicted of 60 counts of defrauding the Social Security Administration and mail fraud. United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell presided over the week-long trial and will sentence Berry at a later date.

Evidence at trial established that from January 2000 to November 2008, Berry represented to the Social Security Administration and the Hartford Insurance Company that he was disabled and couldn’t work, collecting nearly $300,000 in disability benefits. In fact, Berry was working for the town of Latta as its Mayor and as a recreation center director. He also worked for Fast Tax Service in Latta during this same time. To hide his employment, Berry had his paychecks issued in his wife’s name.

During the trial, Berry claimed that a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent had falsified documents to make it appear Berry was working.

The case was investigated by agents of the Social Security Administration -Office of Inspector General, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys William E. Day, II, and Nathan Williams handled the case.

Berry’s wife, Sheila, was found innocent of all charges.

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