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Man Confesses to Stealing Nearly $20,000 in Federal Benefits – NBC10 Philadelphia

Man Confesses to Stealing Nearly ,000 in Federal Benefits – NBC10 Philadelphia

A man has pleaded guilty to fraud and aggravated identity theft in Essex County, New Jersey.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Asmar Earp, 37, pleaded guilty to embezzling federal benefits intended for his former girlfriend’s disabled child shortly after she disappeared in 2017.

Earp was romantically involved with a woman identified as VW and was sharing a home with her when she began receiving monthly payments administered by the Social Security Administration for her disabled minor son. VW was the one receiving the payments because her son was unable to manage his own SSI benefits.

On or about Dec. 24, 2017, VW disappeared and six days later, Earp fraudulently gained control of VW’s son’s benefits by changing the PIN on the debit card he used to access the funds, officials said.

In March and April 2018, Earp also fraudulently used VW’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number to obtain replacement debit cards so he could continue to access VW’s son’s benefits.

“From December 2017 through February 2020, Earp and others acting at his direction repeatedly and fraudulently took money intended to help VW’s son and used it for themselves,” the law firm said in a statement.

According to the indictment, Earp and others under his direction used the debit cards to withdraw SSI payments in New Jersey and Ohio during the period cited by the law firm.

In total, Earp arranged for the SSA to pay him approximately $19,797 in SSI benefits. These benefits were owed to VW as her son’s representative and were intended solely for his benefit.

Earp was charged with two counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Each charge of internet fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the victim’s gross loss or the defendant’s gross profits, whichever is greater.

Aggravated identity theft carries a statutory penalty of two years in prison, which may increase to another term of imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the victim’s gross loss or the defendant’s gross gain, whichever is greater.

VW’s whereabouts remain unknown as of February 2023.

Officials have not disclosed who VW’s son has been in custody under since her disappearance.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.