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Press Release

Social Security Customer Service Employee Indicted For Stealing Information And Money From Agency

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM -- A federal grand jury today indicted a Social Security Administration telephone service center employee for using his position to steal identifying information and benefits from Social Security beneficiaries, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Guy Fallen.

A 14-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges TABARIS ARCHIE BROWN, 35, of Montgomery, with wire fraud, theft of government property and aggravated identity theft in a scheme to obtain money and property fraudulently from the SSA.

Brown was a teleservice representative in the SSA Teleservice Center in Birmingham between April 2013 and July 2013 when the crimes occurred. The administration's teleservice centers across the United States accept toll-free calls from the public. In Brown's job as a customer service representative, he received calls and answered inquiries from SSA beneficiaries. His job responsibilities required that he have access to SSA databases, including the National Computer Center, which houses the Master Beneficiary Record for Social Security beneficiaries.

According to the indictment, Brown used his access to accounts and identifying information of beneficiaries, including Social Security numbers, contained in the NCC to alter bank deposit information for particular beneficiaries and to change the information for 11 beneficiaries so that each person's benefits would be paid into accounts that he controlled.

The indictment charges Brown with 11 counts of wire fraud for each interstate communication he made to change bank information in the Social Security Master Beneficiary Record. He faces one count of theft of government property for embezzling money from the SSA, and two counts of aggravated identity theft for unlawfully using someone else's Social Security number in relation to the wire fraud and government property theft.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for theft of government property is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated identity theft carries a minimum two-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.

SSA-OIG investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamarra Matthews Johnson is prosecuting.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent and it will be the government's responsibility to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Updated March 19, 2015