FBI agents remove material from Social Security headquarters

Source says investigators are probing fraud claims

February 19, 2005|By Anica Butler | Anica Butler,SUN STAFF

Federal agents seized items from Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn yesterday, apparently as part of an investigation of alleged fraud.

About noon yesterday, about a half-dozen people - some of them with lettering on their clothing identifying them as federal agents - were seen taking what appeared to be numerous boxes from the lower east building at the Social Security Administration offices and loading them into an unmarked blue van.

An agent at the scene would not comment.

Barry Maddox, a spokesman for the FBI's Baltimore office, confirmed that the FBI had been at the Social Security complex.

He said he would not disclose any details, saying that the matter is an "ongoing investigation."

Maddox referred questions to Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman at the U.S. attorney's office. Murphy said she could not comment.

Mark Hinkle, a spokesman at the Social Security Administration, also referred reporters to the U.S. attorney's office.

A source familiar with the investigation said the FBI was brought in by the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General. The source said investigators are looking into allegations of "fraud against the government" but would not provide further details.

Sun staff writers Greg Garland and Lisa Goldberg contributed to this article.

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