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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 11, 2016

Richmond Man Sentenced for Stealing Social Security Survivors Benefits

RICHMOND, Va. – Marcel Joshua Kiza, 58, of Richmond, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for engaging in a sophisticated scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program. Kiza was ordered to pay $35,187.80 in restitution.

Kiza was found guilty by a federal jury on Oct. 6, 2015.  According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, upon entering the United States in 1991, Marcel Kiza applied for a Social Security number under a name he was using at the time, Amuri Kiza. During this time Marcel Kiza was also using the name Ntambwe Amuri, which he used on his U.S. Customs and Immigration paperwork. After being assigned a valid Social Security number for the name Amuri Kiza, Marcel Kiza applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in 2005 and was denied.  In May 2007, he attempted to obtain Disability Insurance Benefits from SSA and was again denied.  Marcel Kiza became a naturalized U.S. citizen in April 2007, and at that time he petitioned for and was granted a name change to Marcel Joshua Kiza.

Evidence at trial proved that Marcel Kiza then created a scheme to use his new legal name to create a new identity and receive government benefits.  He applied for a new Social Security number under the name Marcel Joshua Kiza, and represented on the application that he had not previously been assigned a Social Security number, which was untrue. Then, in 2010, Marcel Kiza applied for SSA Survivors Benefits for his children, by representing that their father, Amuri Kiza, was deceased.  He named himself the representative payee on behalf of the children, and as a result of this fraud he received $51,608 in SSA’s Survivors Benefits to which he was not entitled. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Michael McGill, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather L. Hart and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Reed prosecuted 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.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated March 11, 2016