A Social Security Administration employee has been charged with demanding and receiving $55,000 in kickbacks from D.C. residents seeking disability benefits.
Forty-six-year-old Christopher Payton, of Mount Rainier, was charged with receipt of a bribe by a public official. He is scheduled to enter a guilty plea next week.
Payton worked at the Anacostia office in Southeast Washington where he approved Supplemental Security Income benefits for blind, disabled, and elderly people who have little or no income.
According to charging documents, from January 2013 to May 2013, Payton used his position to convince 13 applicants to pay him in order to qualify for their federal benefits or an increase in their disability payments.
“Payton told them, in substance, that if they gave Payton a tip, Payton would take care of them,” according to charging documents.
Payton then accessed their SSI database accounts, then retroactively increased the payments which were transferred to the bank accounts.
After confirming the bump in illegal SSI benefits to their bank accounts, Payton would then meet the individuals around the Anacostia neighborhood where he received the kickbacks, court papers said.
Over the five months, Payton received $54,700 in bribes.