Colorado Man Sentenced to 14 Months for SSA Threats
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA), today announced the sentencing of Harold Ortiz in the District of Colorado to 14 months of federal prison for threatening to assault or murder an SSA employee. Ortiz pleaded guilty on July 13, 2021.
According to court records, on February 26, 2021, Ortiz spoke with an SSA claims specialist to discuss his Social Security benefits. During the call, Ortiz grew angry and yelled, “I’m going to stand outside your building and blow all of your [expletive] heads off. You’re dealing with a crazy person!” In a subsequent call the same day, while speaking to a district manager, his threats and assaults continued. When the manager advised that his threats would not be tolerated, Ortiz stated that, “Denver PD will not come to my house because they know I will kill them! They know I am crazy.” As a result of his abusive and frightening conduct, the SSA office in downtown Denver was closed for two days to protect employees and the public.
“Mr. Ortiz threatened the lives of Social Security Administration officials for carrying out their official duties. This deplorable behavior not only caused fear in the lives of SSA personnel and their families, but resulted in the closure of that field office and the cancellation of dire need appointments for the public. This behavior will not be tolerated by my office and today’s sentence should stand as a warning to anyone who threatens an SSA official who is simply carrying out his or her duties,” said Inspector General Ennis.
This case was investigated by agents in our Denver Field Division under the supervision of Christian Assaad, Special Agent in Charge. Inspector General Ennis thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonia Dave for prosecuting this case.
Members of the public are encouraged to report suspected Social Security fraud to the OIG at https://oig.ssa.gov.