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Albany Husband and Wife Charged with Social Security Fraud

September 15, 2021


From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York:

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Denise Mitchell, age 57, and John Mitchell, age 61, of Albany, were arraigned today on a federal indictment charging them with knowingly concealing Denise Mitchell’s work history and making a false statement in order to deceive the Social Security Administration (SSA) into paying disability benefits to Denise Mitchell when she was not entitled to those benefits.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and John F. Grasso, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.

The indictment alleges that from at least June 2015 until June 2017, Denise Mitchell and her husband John Mitchell, who acted as her representative payee, knowingly failed to disclose that Denise Mitchell was working in order to deceive SSA into continuing to pay disability benefits to Denise Mitchell when she was otherwise ineligible to receive such benefits. The indictment also alleges that on June 8, 2017, Denise Mitchell knowingly made a false statement in a form filed with the SSA regarding her work activity between August 2012 and June 2017. The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The charges filed against Denise Mitchell and John Mitchell carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release 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.

This case is being investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.

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