A former Port Jefferson Station resident who pleaded guilty last month to nearly 50 felony charges, related to filing false tax returns on behalf of disabled brain injury patients, was sentenced to prison on Monday.
According to a spokesman for District Attorney Thomas Spota, Benjamin Achampong received 16 months to 4 years in prison, over the D.A.'s recommendation of 28 months to 7 years.
When he was arrested last April, authorities said Achampong had stolen information from 56 brain injury patients while he was working at Long Island Head Injury Association in Commack. He was extradited from Georgia – where he was facing 16 identity theft charges for reportedly using stolen credit cards – to face charges in Suffolk County Court.
Suffolk County Police said last year that their investigation into Achampong's activities – which occurred between 2006 and 2007 – lasted 14 months.
He pleaded guilty to the following charges:
- Identity theft, first degree: 2 counts
- Identity theft, second degree: 20 counts
- Offering a false instrument for filing, first degree: 20 counts
- Possession of a forged instrument, second degree: 4 counts
- Grand larceny, third degree: 1 count
- Attempted grand larceny, fourth degree: 1 count
All the charges beside attempted grand larceny are felonies.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota called Achampong a "shameless, incorrigible thief and forger.”
“The financial information included in the phony returns - bearing a patient’s name and social security number - was entirely false," said Spota. “The investigation found that he used the identities of girlfriends, and even his brother, to open accounts in which to deposit the proceeds from his crimes."