SYRACUSE, NEW YORK — A person indicted as John Doe, age unknown, of Owego, New York, was arrested Wednesday on charges of SSI (Supplemental Security Income) fraud and aggravated identity theft. The charges relate to Doe’s use of another person’s name, Social Security number, and date of birth to apply for and obtain SSI benefits to which he was not entitled, beginning in 1999 and continuing to this day. Doe’s true identity has yet to be confirmed.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and John F. Grasso, Special Agent in charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.
Doe was brought to trial on the charges in US District Court in Syracuse, New York and ordered to be taken into custody pending a trial to be scheduled at a later date.
If convicted of SSI fraud, Doe faces a maximum jail term of five years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervision of up to three years. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, Doe faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in federal prison. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the specific statute the defendant is charged with, U.S. sentencing guidelines, and other factors.
The charges in the indictment are just accusations. The suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is under investigation by the Inspector General’s Social Security Administration Office, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tioga County Department of Social Services, and is being prosecuted by U.S. Special Assistant Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.