A former employee of the Social Security Administration in Chicago was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for a fraud scheme in which he authorized more than $1.9 million in benefits.
Jayson Cruz, 41, pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Cruz was a former benefits authorizer at the Social Security Administration in Chicago, prosecutors said. Between 2009 and 2013, he authorized fraudulent payments to more than 150 people, causing the Social Security Administration to pay $1,908,290 in fraudulent benefits.
Cruz used the proceeds to purchase his home in the South Chicago neighborhood, shop at Gucci, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and travel to the NBA All-Star Game, prosecutors said.
The 60-month sentence was imposed by Judge Virginia M. Kendall.