From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A two-count indictment was unsealed yesterday that charges William Francis Stevens, 52, of San Joaquin County, with theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to the indictment, beginning in January 2017, and continuing through July 2019, Stevens transferred, possessed, and used, without lawful authority, the name, date of birth, and social security number of his brother in connection with stealing government money, including benefits from the Social Security Administration.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General and the California Department of Health Care Services – Investigations Section. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.
On Dec. 12, 2019, a federal grand jury returned the indictment, which was sealed until Stevens’ arrest on Thursday in Stockton.
If convicted, Stevens faces a maximum statutory penalty of 12 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, including a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.