ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jorge Ortiz, Jr., age 60, of Albany, pled guilty today to concealing his resources from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to defraud SSA into paying Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to his stepson, who was otherwise ineligible to receive such benefits.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and John F. Grasso, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.
As part of his guilty plea, Ortiz admitted that from November 2008 through February 2016, while acting as representative payee for a family member, Ortiz concealed and failed to disclose assets and resources in order to deceive SSA into making benefit payments to the family member who was otherwise ineligible to receive SSI benefit payments. SSI is a needs-based program, available to elderly, blind, and disabled individuals, that provides money to pay for basic living expenses.
As a result of his conviction, Ortiz faces up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. Sentencing is scheduled for October 12, 2021 before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case was investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.