SYRACUSE, NEW YORK — “John Doe,” of Owego, New York, was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for aggravated identity theft and misuse of a social security number. Doe used the name, social security number and date of birth of a homeless U.S. Army veteran to fraudulently obtain $249,811.93 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and an additional $588,645.85 in state benefits. Doe’s true identity has yet to be confirmed.
The announcement was made by US Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Gail. S. Ennis, Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman stated: “We don’t yet know the defendant’s name, but we do know what he did. Today’s verdict is just punishment for stealing the identity of a homeless veteran to fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in government benefits. Thanks to the combined efforts of local, state and federal investigators, we were able to bring John Doe to justice, despite not knowing his true identity.”
SSA Inspector General Gail S. Ennis stated: “This individual stole the identity of a US Army veteran to fraudulently obtain additional security revenue, a critical safety net for those in need. This punishment holds him accountable for his wrongful acts. My office will continue to pursue those who steal someone else’s identity and misuse a social security number for personal gain. I appreciate the work of our law enforcement partners in this complex investigation and thank U.S. Assistant Attorneys Adrian S. LaRochelle and Michael Gadarian for prosecuting this case.”
Doe was found guilty after a 4-day trial in May 2022. The evidence showed that from approximately 1999 to June 2021, Doe received SSI benefits under the name, date of birth and social security number of a homeless U.S. Army veteran living in North America lives. carolina. When Doe’s use of the veteran’s identity was eventually discovered and Doe was questioned by federal agents, Doe continued to falsely claim the identity was his own and provided officers with a photocopy of the victim’s birth certificate and Social Security card, claiming that these documents were his own. . Agents located the veteran and determined through fingerprints and DNA analysis that Doe is not the person he claims to be.
United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino also ordered Doe to serve a 3-year supervised term after his release from prison and ordered Doe to pay a total of $838,457.78 in restitution in connection with the benefits he unlawfully received in the name of the victim. .
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, and the New York State Police, with assistance from the US Marshals Service. The case was prosecuted by U.S. Assistant Attorneys Adrian S. LaRochelle and Michael D. Gadarian.