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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Richmond Man Convicted of Stealing Social Security Survivors’ Benefits

RICHMOND, Va. – Marcel Kiza, 58, of Richmond, was convicted today by a federal jury on charges of theft of government property.

Kiza was indicted on March 18, 2015.  According to court records and evidence at trial, Kiza fraudulently obtained over $50,000 in Child’s Insurance Benefits as a representative payee under the name Marcel Kiza for two children whom he represented to be his deceased brother’s children.  Evidence at trial showed that Kiza did not have a deceased brother, and that he created two identities in order to fraudulently receive Survivors’ Benefits for his own children.  Evidence at trial showed that Kiza had originally entered the country under the name Amuri Ntambwe Kiza, until 2007 when he became a citizen and legally changed his name to Marcel Joshua Kiza.  The government presented social security applications, customs and immigration documents, and a legal name-change petition.  These documents showed the defendant using the same identifiers and, at times, both names.  Additionally, a fingerprint examiner testified that a fingerprint impression taken in 2002 from Amuri matched a 2013 fingerprint taken from Marcel, and both of those fingerprints matched Kiza’s current fingerprint impressions.

Kiza faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 7, 2016.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Rod Owens, Resident Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather L. Hart and Special Assistant United States Attorney Margaret Reed are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:15-CR-46.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 7, 2015