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Jury Convicts Tioga County Man of Misusing a Social Security Number and Aggravated Identity Theft

May 19, 2022

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - “John Doe,” formerly of Owego, New York, was convicted today, after a four-day jury trial, of two counts of Aggravated Identity Theft and one count of Misuse of a Social Security Number. The charges relate to Doe’s use of the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of another person to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to which he was not entitled. Doe’s true identity has yet to be confirmed.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Sharon B. MacDermott, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.

The evidence at trial established that, since approximately 1999, Doe received SSI benefits from the Social Security Administration under the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of a homeless U.S. Army veteran living in North Carolina. When Doe’s use of the other person’s identity was ultimately discovered and Doe was questioned by federal agents, Doe continued to falsely claim the identity as his own and provided agents a photocopy of the victim’s birth certificate and Social Security card, purporting them to be his own.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 30, 2022, in Syracuse, before United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. For his conviction of Misuse of a Social Security Number, Doe faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution to the Social Security Administration, and a term of supervised of up to three years. For his two convictions on Aggravated Identity Theft, Doe faces a mandatory sentence of two years in federal prison on each count, which the Court can run concurrently or consecutively. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The jury was not able to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining count of Supplemental Security Income fraud, and a mistrial was declared as to that charge.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, the Tioga County Department of Social Services, the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adrian S. LaRochelle and Michael D. Gadarian.

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