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Press Release

Steelton Man Convicted On Insurance And Social Security Fraud Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Mohammed Rizk, age 53, Steelton, Pennsylvania, was convicted of fraudulently obtaining Social Security benefits and wire fraud. The jury returned a verdict of guilty after one and a half hours of deliberation following a four-day trial in Harrisburg before Chief United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Rizk obtained approximately $64,000 in benefits under the Social Security Administration’s Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program (RSDIP) between 2014 and 2015, by falsely representing that the minor children of his deceased spouse were living with him when in fact they were living elsewhere. Rizk, as representative payee, took the funds that the children were entitled to and converted them to his own use. Rizk was convicted of wire fraud for forging his minor daughter’s signature on insurance surrender documents, submitting the documents to Prudential insurance, and thereby fraudulently obtaining $57,982 in insurance proceeds left to the daughter by her deceased mother. Rizk thereby defrauded his two minor daughters out of approximately $122,000.


The government is also seeking forfeiture of the funds obtained through the fraud.


The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General and the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorneys William A. Behe and Scott Ford prosecuted the case.


A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.


The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years imprisonment on the wire fraud charge and 10 years imprisonment on the theft and Social Security fraud charges, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated August 24, 2017

Financial Fraud