WASHINGTON — A Silver Spring, Maryland doctor has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that she collected her dead mother’s retirement and social security checks for 13 years.
Crystal Mebane McGinty, 58, according the United States Attorney’s Office in Maryland, never notified the Social Security Administration or her mother’s former employer, the State of New York, that her mother died of natural causes in June 2005.
From the time of her mother’s death to June 2018, checks kept coming and according to prosecutors, McGinty would deposit them in an account she once shared with her mother by forging her mother’s signature.
McGinty collected more than $517,000 of her mother’s retirement benefits, and prosecutors said she used it to pay for utilities, credit cards, vacations, her professional health license, and even to pay for tuition at a private D.C. high school.
Prosecutors believe she would also pose as her mother to keep the benefits coming. On one occasion she’s accused of calling the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York pretending to be her deceased mother. On other occasions, she’s accused of posing as both her mother and her mother’s doctor in proof-of-life forms.
According to the state of Maryland, McGinty practiced internal medicine in Silver Spring, and she is also licensed to practice in D.C.
McGinty’s charges include mail fraud, theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.
She was indicted in July and during an initial appearance was released with pretrial supervision. A provision of that is she cannot prescribe medications.
“Federal prosecution of these cases serves to punish the lawbreakers and to deter others who may be tempted to do the same,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur in a statement on the case.
If convicted, McGinty faces more than 30 years in prison.
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