Baggett charged with Social Security scam, using number of dead person

Michael S. Baggett

Michael S. Baggett

GUILDERLAND — Michael S. Baggett, 57, of Guilderland used the Social Security number of a dead person, among other crimes, according to spokeswoman Trooper Kerra Burns of the New York State Police. He was arrested on March 7.

Baggett was collecting benefits under his own Social Security number and his own name, but used at least three false Social Security numbers — and his own name — to apply for jobs, receive wages, and file income-tax returns, Burns said.

Burns was not familiar with the people whose numbers he used, she said, adding that Baggett claimed that he made up the numbers.

Using blue cardstock, Baggett also created forged United States Social Security cards to further his crimes, Burns said.

Over the course of the past two years, state police say, he received over $13,000 in Supplemental Security Income that he was not entitled to receive.

Baggett’s scam was discovered when he applied for employment at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, Burns said. During a background check, hospital staff discovered that the Social Security number he had provided was on the Social Security Administration’s Death Index. St. Peter’s then reported it to police, Burns said.

Baggett was charged, according to state police, with several counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, first-degree falsifying business records, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and third-degree grand larceny, all felonies; he is currently on probation in Massachusetts, where he formerly lived.

Baggett was arraigned in City of Albany Court and was remanded to Albany County’s jail without bail to await a preliminary hearing. According to online records, he has since been released from the county jail.

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