Photo Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg’s Office
Hodge allegedly stole more than $150,000 from the Social Security Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
By Forum Staff
A Cambria Heights man was arrested last Thursday on a complaint charging him with theft of government property. Mark Hodge allegedly stole more than $150,000 from the Social Security Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Veterans Affairs between March 1999 and July 2017.
According to the complaint, the three federal agencies had been paying benefits to Hodge’s mother, who had been residing with him in Cambria Heights until her death in 1999. Unaware that she had passed, the agencies continued making payments for her benefit. Instead of reporting the overpayments, Hodge transferred the funds from a joint bank account in his mother’s name to his own personal checking account. The defendant continued the fraud in November 2016, when he falsely represented to the Social Security Administration that his mother was alive but unable to be interviewed because she had been hospitalized.
“Today’s arrest should serve as a warning to those who choose to selfishly defraud the Social Security Trust Fund,” said SSA-Office of Inspector General Special Agent-in-Charge John Grasso.
If convicted, Hodge faces a statutory maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment for theft of government property.
Grasso “strongly urged” the public to report suspected instances of Social Security fraud to the OIG’s Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271 or oig.ssa.gov/report.