DA: L.I. Man Accused Of Stealing Identities Of Brain-Injured Patients ‘Shameless’
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Prosecutors have indicted a Long Island man for allegedly stealing the identities of dozens of people with brain injuries.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota called 30-year-old Benjamin Achampong “a shameless, incorrigible thief and forger.”
Achampong is accused of using his former position at the Long Island Head Injury Association to access the Social Security numbers and other information of more than 50 victims, officials said.
Prosecutors said he used the victims’ data to file false tax returns and collect refunds of more than $20,000 in New York state tax refunds. Prosecutors say Achampong also collected refunds from New Jersey and the IRS.
“Achampong would have a few refund checks sent to his residence, but more often he would have the tax refund electronically transferred to one of at least sixteen bank accounts he controlled,” Spota said in a statement. “The investigation found that he used the identities of girlfriends and even his brother to open accounts in which to deposit the proceeds from his crimes.”
The Long Island Head Injury Association said they are cooperating with the investigation.
Spota said this isn’t the first time Achampong has been arrested for alleged identity theft. In 2009, he was arrested and pleaded guilty in Nassau County for using financial information from a deceased, developmentally disabled man to receive debit cards, Spota said.
A year later, he was arrested in Georgia for using a fake credit card, according to officials.
In Suffolk County, Achampong faces grand larceny, identity theft and other charges. He is currently being held on $50,000 bail.
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