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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lansing Man Sentenced To 12 Months In Prison For Defrauding The Government Of More Than $46,000

Ahmad Elbast Lied that He Was Caring for His Father to Receive Benefits
for Over Six Years after His Father Had Returned to his Native Lebanon

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today that Ahmad Jamil Elbast of Lansing, Michigan was sentenced to 12 months in prison for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) representative payee fraud. Elbast was also ordered to pay restitution of $46,625. Following Elbast’s release from prison, he will serve a 36-month term of supervision by the Court. Elbast pleaded guilty to the charge before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker on October 1, 2014.

          Ahmad Elbast’s father qualified for Supplemental Security Income benefits and Ahmad Elbast served as his father’s representative payee starting in April 2006, promising to accept the payments on his father’s behalf. In fact, Elbast’s father left the country in March 2006, but Ahmad Elbast continued to certify that his father lived with him and that the SSI payments were being used to care for his father. Elbast’s fraud cost the taxpayers approximately $46,625.

          The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay M. West prosecuted the case.

Updated January 8, 2016