Owego man arrested stealing identity, committing income fraud for 22 years

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OWEGO, N.Y. (WETM) – A Tioga County man has been arrested after being indicted for allegedly using someone else’s identity for 22 years to get Supplemental Security Income Benefits.

He was arrested on charges of SSI Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft that he used someone else’s name, Social Security number and date of birth to apply for and get SSI benefits that he wasn’t eligible to receive. The announcement said this began in 1999 and continued through the present.

The man was indicted under the name John Doe, and his age is unknown, according to U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman and Special Agent John Grasso. His true identity has yet to be confirmed.

Doe was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Syracuse and was ordered detained pending a trial to be scheduled at a later date.

If convicted of SSI fraud, Doe faces a maximum of five years in prison, fines up to $250,000 and supervision of up to three years. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in federal prison.

Doe was arraigned on the indictment in United States District Court in Syracuse, New York and was ordered detained pending trial to be scheduled at a later date.

This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tioga County Department of Social Services and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.

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