From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On October 2, 2018, Amir Hossain Rasekh, 40, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, to serve 33 months in federal prison for stealing Social Security benefits from unsuspecting seniors through a conspiracy involving theft of their personal information. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $547,719.20.
Rasekh pleaded guilty in May 2018, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. From 2012 until his arrest in June 2017, Rasekh engaged in a scheme involving the theft of Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits from unsuspecting victims, including using their personal identification information (PII) to sign up for benefits online. He and other individuals, who are currently unknown to law enforcement, then directed the payment of the monthly SSA benefits to prepaid debit cards issued by Green Dot and under their control. Over the five-year period of the scheme, Rasekh stole $547,719.20 in SSA benefits.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue prosecution of individuals who commit crimes against our district’s older residents,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey. “We encourage anyone near retirement age to protect themselves from fraudulent acts such as these by contacting the Social Security Administration to ensure that their personal identification information has not been used without their knowledge.”
Agencies involved in this investigation included the SSA, Office of the Inspector General and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank M. Dale, Jr. and Jennifer Kolman represented the United States in court proceedings.