RI lawmaker's husband pleads guilty to fraud charges

    Henry Fellela

    The husband of a Rhode Island state representative pleaded guilty to charges that he used a stolen credit card and claimed he was homeless to collect $58,000 in fraudulent Social Security benefits.

    Henry Fellela pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Tuesday.

    Fellela's wife is Democratic state Rep. Deborah Fellela of Johnston.

    Prosecutors said Fellela used a stolen credit card in 2010 to buy $3,077 worth of electronic goods and clothing. The credit card belonged to a Smithfield resident.

    They also said Fellela claimed to be homeless to collect $58,207 in supplemental Social Security benefits between 2004 and 2012 when he was living with his wife and children in their Johnston home.

    Fellela faces 36 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines at his sentencing scheduled for July 1.

    Fellela was also arrested in March 2013 by state police and charged with using a stolen credit card after someone reported that the card had been stolen from their mailbox. Police said the card was used 17 times at gas stations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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