From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York:
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Sean Okrzesik, age 34, of Syracuse, was arrested on March 23 on charges of theft of government property and Social Security fraud related to his diversion of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits into bank accounts he set up in the names of beneficiaries or their representative payees while he was employed in the Syracuse District Office of the Social Security Administration. SSI is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenue. The program is designed to help disabled people, with little or no income, cover the costs of basic needs.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.
Okrzesik appeared in Federal Court in Syracuse, New York, before United States Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks. He was ordered released pending trial on a date to be scheduled in the future.
If convicted of theft of government property and Social Security fraud, Okrzesik faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General under the supervision of John F. Grasso, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.