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Social Security Administration Official Indicted for Illegally Distributing Social Security Numbers
Twenty-Nine-Year Employee Unlawfully Created, Distributed Social Security Cards

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2010
  • Northern District of California (415) 436-7200

SAN JOSE, CA—A federal grand jury in San Jose indicted a Social Security Administration Official yesterday on charges of unlawful production of an identification document in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(1), and theft of government property in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, Rachel Ochoa, 66, of San Jose, is alleged to have used her position at the Social Security Administration’s San Jose office to produce Social Security cards for individuals who had no legal right to obtain them.

An affidavit filed by an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in connection with a criminal complaint that was filed in the matter, alleges that the Social Security card recipients paid middlemen amounts ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to obtain the cards. According to the affidavit, Ochoa fabricated documents used to support the Social Security card application and claimed the required application interviews had taken place when they had not.

Ochoa was arrested on Nov. 9, 2010, at the Social Security Administration in San Jose. She made her initial appearance in federal court in San Jose that same day and is currently out on bail, which was set at $50,000. The defendant's next scheduled court appearance is at 10 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2010, for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge Patricia V. Trumbull.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of unlawful production of an identification document in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(1) is five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of theft of government property in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641 is 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Jeff Schenk is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kamille Singh. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Ochoa must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Further Information:             

Case #: CR 10-00846-JW

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Jack Gillund at (415) 436-6599 or by email at Jack.Gillund@usdoj.gov.

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