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May 10 2022

Syracuse Social Security worker faces prison for $100k identity theft scheme

Theft or possession of other people’s Social Security numbers is unlawful. State and federal authorities are determined to crack down on identity theft and other related forms of fraud.

Prosecutors are particularly tough on individuals who seek to exploit government programs like Social Security or Medicaid. If you are found guilty of participating in or operating a fraud scheme, they will try to ensure you spend time behind bars.

A former federal employee from Syracuse, New York, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft and theft of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. He was sentenced to 25 months in prison after pleading guilty to the charges.

Sean Okrzesik, 34, worked in the Syracuse District Office of the Social Security Administration. Federal prosecutors said he stole a total of $103,798 in SSI benefits via a scheme that ran from February 2020 through February 2021.

Okrzesik opened bank accounts using the names and Social Security numbers of SSI beneficiaries and their representatives. He then diverted their benefit payments into the fraudulent bank accounts. The stolen money was used to purchase video game equipment, jewelry, a custom suit and plane tickets to the Caribbean, along with being spent on online gambling.

The judge imposed a three-year term of probation after Okrzesik completes his prison sentence. He was also ordered to pay the SSA $103,798 in restitution.

If you have been accused of identity theft or other types of fraud in New York, Brill Legal Group is here to help. An accomplished New York identity theft defense lawyer from our team will fight back against the government’s accusations against you.

Whether you are facing state or federal charges, our law firm is ready to explore every possible defense strategy to protect your future. Contact us today to learn more. We offer a free initial consultation.