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Press Release

Mahoning County Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing More Than $172k in Retirement Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration

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

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Marcus C. Williams, 52, of Campbell, Ohio, was sentenced on Thursday, March 24, 2022, by U.S. District Judge  Christopher A. Boyko to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $172,943 in restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA) after Williams pleaded guilty to theft of government property.

“Stealing funds intended for a legitimate Social Security dependent is a guaranteed way to face prosecution and potential time in prison,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.  “Stealing Social security funds is not a victimless crime and has real consequences.”

“As a representative payee for his grandfather, a beneficiary of Retirement Insurance Benefits, Mr. Williams had a responsibility to report his grandfather’s death to SSA.  However, Mr. Williams discarded that responsibility and instead falsely reported to SSA that his grandfather was alive so that Mr. Williams could use those stolen funds from SSA in excesses of more than $172,000 for his personal use,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “This sentence demonstrates that my office will continue to pursue those who commit Social Security fraud. I thank the U.S. Postal Inspection Services for joining us in this investigation.  I also thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason White for holding Mr. Williams accountable.”

According to court documents, at the time of his death, the defendant’s grandfather received Retirement Insurance benefits from the SSA that were paid directly to the defendant as the representative payee.  As a representative payee, Williams was responsible for ensuring that payments were used for the good of the beneficiary and was required to report to the SSA any changes in circumstances, including the death of the beneficiary.

Court documents state that from May 2008 to October 2019, Williams reported to the SSA that his grandfather was living, when he knew that to be untrue and used money intended for his grandfather for his own personal use.

In total, Williams stole $172,943 in Retirement Insurance benefits from the SSA.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.  This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Jason W. White.

 

Updated April 1, 2022

Topic
Financial Fraud