Loretta Washington, a 59-year-old resident of Binghamton, was arraigned on a federal indictment that accuses her of 38 counts of social security fraud. The charges were announced by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Bradley Parker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), New York Field Office.

Alleged Theft of Benefits for a Minor

According to the indictment, Washington had been receiving social security benefits as a representative payee for a minor.  A representative payee is appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to manage payments on behalf of a beneficiary who is incapable of doing so. Washington is accused of stealing over $25,000 in social security benefits intended for the minor between October 2018 and November 2021.

Potential Penalties

The charges brought against Washington carry a maximum prison sentence of five years as well as a fine of up to $250,000. Additionally, she could face a term of supervised release for up to three years. However, it is important to note that Washington is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Ongoing Investigation and Prosecution

At this time, the charges are just allegations however, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) is currently investigating the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Tuck has been assigned to prosecute the charges.

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