Steelton Man Indicted For Social Security Fraud
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg has indicted a Steelton man on criminal charges of fraudulently obtaining Social Security benefits.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Mohammed Rizk, age 53, Steelton, was charged with theft and Social Security fraud. The charges stem from Rizk obtaining approximately $67,000 in benefits under the Social Security Administration’s Retirement and Survivor’s Insurance (RSI) Program between 2014 and 2016 by falsely representing that the minor children of his deceased spouse were living with him when in fact they were living elsewhere. Allegedly, Rizk, as representative payee, took the funds that the children were entitled to and converted them to his own use. 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. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe. Rizk is also facing related charges brought against him by the District Attorney’s Office for insurance fraud.
An indictment is only an allegation. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
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 10 years of imprisonment, 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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