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RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that a Federal grand jury in Raleigh has returned a thirteen-count indictment charging Stephanie Chavis, age 42, of Saint Pauls, North Carolina, with ten counts of Wire Fraud, two counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, and one count of Theft of Government Property.

The indictment alleges that beginning in or about August 2010, and continuing until in or about April 2018, Chavis engaged in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration by using her supervisory position to divert more than $700,000 in funds meant for SSI beneficiaries into bank accounts controlled by Chavis. The indictment further alleges that Chavis advanced this scheme by convincing unsuspecting employees to manually process unauthorized payments on SSI beneficiary accounts using the beneficiaries’ personal identifying information and Chavis’  bank account information.

If convicted of all counts, Chavis faces a maximum penalty of twenty-four years imprisonment. She also faces a minimum two-year consecutive term of imprisonment on each aggravated identity theft count.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. Special Assistant United States Attorney Tamika Moses is prosecuting the case for the government.

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