HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A social security employee from Harlingen is in custody for alleged attempts to steal government money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Lee Marvin Nichols, 38, was charged with theft of government property and aggravated identity theft after allegedly creating false profiles for two children that do not exist.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nichols was a claims specialist at the Social Security Administration in Harlingen.
Nichols allegedly created two false profiles and linked them to a recently deceased man and a woman with a disability living in Mexico in an attempt to create a survivor benefits application.
The press release states Nichols used debit cards issued to the false profiles to withdraw funds by attempting to disguise himself with hats, sunglasses, and other clothing.
According to a three-count indictment, the IRS issued stimulus payments of $1,400 to each false profile made by Nichols, where he received up to $2,800.
In addition to the stimulus payments, Nichols received additional Social Security benefits by using the two false profiles.
Nichols is expected to make an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignacio Torteya III Friday afternoon.