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Justice News

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

Monday, November 2, 2020

Buffalo Man Charged With Spending His Deceased Father's Social Security Benefits

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Abdulkawi Al Shuaibi, 47, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with theft of government property. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas A.C. Penrose, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant’s father received retirement benefits under the Social Security Act. These benefits should have ceased when Al Shuaibi’s father died in August 2013. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) continued to pay these benefits until February 2019, with the defendant spending the money. The resulting loss to the SSA was approximately $76,393.50.

The defendant made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was released on conditions.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John F. Grasso.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Financial Fraud
Updated November 2, 2020