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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Former Social Security Administration Employee Facing Federal Charges for Fraudulent Telework, Emergency Childcare, and Medical Leave Schemes

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 5, 2024 - Christopher Markham, 40, of Westfield, Indiana, has been charged with one count of wire fraud after allegedly defrauding the Social Security Administration (SSA).

According to court documents, Markham was employed by the SSA and assigned to an office based in Anderson, Indiana. Between February 13, 2019, and June 17, 2022, Markham allegedly engaged in a scheme by which he made it appear as though he was teleworking full-time for Social Security Administration (SSA) during workdays, when in reality, he was earning income working as a home inspector for his personal business, Markham Inspection Services. Markham was paid his full federal salary and benefits, while concealing the fact that he was working for his personal business and not for SSA.

Markham routinely performed home inspections for his personal business during the workweek while purporting to “telework” on official SSA time. He concealed the fact that he was not performing SSA work during official work hours by having his wife and his mother access the SSA computer system and send emails to supervisors to make it appear as though he was online and working.

Markham nevertheless sought to be paid in full during this period and submitted 53 fraudulent time reports to SSA’s online timekeeping portal, as well as falsified daily work logs to his supervisors.

Additionally, Markham allegedly engaged in other fraud schemes to obtain Emergency Paid Leave by falsely claiming he was required to stay home to take care of his children. In fact, his children were in daycare, and he was again performing work for and earning income from his personal business. He allegedly performed at least 70 home inspections for his personal business while claiming to be providing emergency care for his children.

Finally, on multiple occasions, Markham fraudulently claimed benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) by falsely claiming he was unable to work due to illness—when he was actually doing home inspections for his personal business.

In total, Markham’s fraudulent conduct caused a loss to the SSA of approximately $49,255.97.

The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General is investigating this case. Should Markham be convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Brad P. Shepard, who is prosecuting this case.

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