This week, it was announced that a federal grand jury had returned an indictment against 58-year-old Crystal Mebane McGinty of Silver Spring, Maryland. The physician has been charged with mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of government property allegedly linked to a scheme to acquire more than $517,000 of her decreased mother’s social security and City of New York teachers’ retirement benefits. The defendant has been released from custody under the supervision of United States Pretrial Services.
Court documents and the indictment show that McGinty’s mother was a Maryland resident. She began receiving monthly retirement benefits from the New York City teachers’ retirement system in 1972 and started receiving Social Security benefits in 1989. The defendant’s mother died of natural causes in 2005. McGinty, who is a practicing physician, was listed as the informant on her mother’s death certificate. The indictment alleges that McGinty did not alert the authorities that her mother had died from June of 2005 through June of 2018.
The indictment also accuses the defendant of depositing the checks into a bank account that McGinty maintained in her name, her mother’s name and the name of her mother’s deceased husband. The checks featured her mother’s signature, which McGinty allegedly knew was forged. McGinty is accused of using the money to pay utility bills, credit cards, mortgage fees and other expenditures. The defendant allegedly used some of the money for domestic travel and a cruise vacation.
McGinty will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for mail fraud, 10 years for theft of government property and a mandatory two years for aggravated identity theft if convicted. At this point in time, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Further details can be found here.