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Conyers man extorted money from Social Security recipients

ATLANTA — A Conyers man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to extorting money from Social Security recipients or their representative payees.

Cordell Fleming, 46, was charged on Aug. 14 with one count of extortion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta. Fleming could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

“A federal employee, in a position of public trust, preying on the disabled and the indigent shocks the conscience,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “This defendant extorted money from needy, disabled members of our community by promising them expedited Social Security payments in return.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Fleming worked as claims representative for the Social Security Administration in Morrow where he processed requests for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. However, according to the charges, Fleming offered to “expedite” the processing time of SSI payments to beneficiaries and beneficiary payees in exchange for a fee. In an attempt to make the expedited SSI payments appear legitimate, Fleming frequently created false documents that purportedly justified the expedited disbursement of payments. During the course of the scheme, from October 2012 to April 2013, Fleming extorted and attempted to extort money from at least nine SSI beneficiaries or their payees in amounts ranging from approximately $500 to $1,800.

Sentencing for Fleming has been set for Nov. 14 before U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Social Security Administration - Office of the Inspector General.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Diane C. Schulman are prosecuting the case.