A position with an agency of the United States government is one of trust. When a worker allegedly betrays that trust by taking advantage of his or her position for personal benefit, the legal system takes a dim view of the situation due to the harm that could come to the general public as a result. A 38-year-old employee of the Social Security Administration from New Jersey pleaded guilty eight months ago to charges of aggravated identity theft, as well as theft of government funds. He now faces a prison term of nearly three years following his recent appearance in court for a sentencing hearing.
The employee’s work duties at the Social Security Administration, where he worked for approximately 10 years, involved reviewing cases and handling payment amounts and eligibility. He allegedly used his position to access numerous accounts and reinstate people’s benefits for fraudulent purposes. In order to collect the prepaid debit cards subsequently issued, he reportedly changed the addresses in the records to one he could access readily. This involved falsifying records.
Altogether, the Social Security Administration employee allegedly stole approximately $100,000 from the agency from December 2014 to July 2018. In addition to a 34-month prison sentence, he must also pay the agency full restitution.
A criminal conviction could potentially turn one’s world upside-down, even if the prison sentence is relatively light. There may be unforeseen consequences, such as damage to one’s reputation, that may be difficult to rehabilitate. Those facing criminal charges have the right to a defense, and it may be in their interest to hire an attorney with experience handling such legal matters.