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Case Number: 22-cr-00360
Judge: Daniel D. Domenico
Court: United States District Court for the District of Colorado (Denver County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Denver
Defendant's Attorney: Brian Leedy
Description: Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with wire fraud, social security fraud, and money laundering.
Beginning around August 2019 and continuing through September 2021, Justin Skiff, age 36, of Castle Pines, Colorado, used his position as a claims specialist with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to fraudulently obtain money from the SSA. Skiff used his knowledge and access to establish Social Security Numbers for ten fictitious children. He then established fictitious records of entitlements for surviving child benefits which he connected to the record of a real deceased individual. These benefits were deposited into a bank account accessible to Skiff through debit cards he directed to be mailed to a P.O. Box to which he had access. Skiff withdrew money and made purchases from this account from October 2019 through September 2021 for a total amount of $324,201.44.
“Mr. Skiff blatantly violated the public’s trust, abusing his position within the SSA by stealing $324,201 in benefits,” said Christian Assad, Special Agent in Charge, Denver Field Division, of the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. “We take every violation of the public trust very seriously, and we will continue to work with SSA to identify and root out suspected employee fraud. I want to thank Sonia J. Dave, Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and our counterparts at the IRS for its support of this investigation.”
“Maintaining the public’s trust in government institutions is vital to our democracy,” said Andy Tsui, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office. “When government employees abuse their position of trust to enrich themselves, IRS-CI will partner with other agencies to ensure these criminals are held accountable for their actions.”
“Federal employees owe a special duty to the taxpayers we serve,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “Instead of serving, this defendant stole money, and our trust. We commend our law enforcement partners for pursuing justice in this matter.”
Judge Daniel D. Domenico presided over the sentencing on July 13, 2023.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). This prosecution is being handled by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonia J. Dave.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to six months in prison.