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Press Release

Former Fresno Pastor Arraigned On Fraud Indictment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Alvin Dickson, 52, of Oakland, was arraigned in Fresno today on a federal indictment charging him with social security fraud and theft of government property, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Dickson was arrested at his home on March 5, 2014. He made his first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland.

According to the indictment returned by the grand jury on January 30, 2014, between July 2005 and April 2013, Dickson received Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits totaling approximately $113,000. At the same time he was receiving the benefits, and unknown to the Social Security Administration, he was working as the Pastor of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Fresno.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Mark J. McKeon is prosecuting the case.

The next court appearance for Dickson is a status conference before Magistrate judge Sheila K Oberto on May 19, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

If convicted, Dickson faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison for theft of government property, five years in prison for Social Security fraud, and a $250,000 fine for each charge. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 8, 2015

Press Release Number: Docket #: 1:14-cr-018-LJO