A 68-year-old Cambridge man allegedly hijacked another man’s identity for nearly two decades, using it to fraudulently obtain more than $65,000 in state benefits, Suffolk County prosecutors said today.
Frederick Cross faces a variety of charges, including four counts of identity theft and charges of making false claims to a government agency and making false statements to obtain public assistance, prosecutors said.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement that public assistance fraud is “much more than a crime against government agencies. It’s a crime against the genuinely needy who depend on state benefits to support the very young, the very old, and the disabled.’’
Cross was indicted May 1. He was summonsed to appear for arraignment May 14 but failed to appear. He was arrested on Thursday at the Social Security office in Waltham. He was arraigned Friday and held on $25,000 bail, prosecutors said.
Cross allegedly obtained benefits by using the birth certificate, Social Security number, and date of birth of another man with a similar name and date of birth.
He allegedly received $65,897 in benefits since 2005, including benefits from MassHealth, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Emergency Aid for the Elderly, Disabled and Children, prosecutors said.
The victim, who resides in another state, “lives with massive inconveniences’’ because of Cross’s alleged crimes and “likely will for some time,’’ Conley said.