There has been an increase this year in cases where people commit fraud and steal deceased or even living family members social security checks.
A lot of times, people take benefits that were meant for their parents because it’s the easiest way to commit fraud with the hopes of not getting caught.
On man in Baltimore is now spending one year in federal prison with three years of supervision to follow. He stole social security benefits meant for his mother.
In all he took over $244,000 over the span of twenty years from 1997 to 2018. The payments began a month after she had died and he did not inform social security of the death. His sentence was the result of a plea deal.
Not only did he steal her money and spend it, but he falsified documentation as proof of her spending.
Another woman in California, age 58, stole her father’s social security benefits in the amount of $87,000. She collected them through direct deposit from 2012 to 2018 and faces ten years in prison with a possible $250,000 fine.
Another woman in Las Vegas went as far as dismembering her dead husband and throwing the pieces of him packaged up in the garbage to continue to get his payments. Had she notified the Social Security Administration of his death, she would have received spousal benefits.
The increase is crimes is bringing more attention to investigating it, and chances of spending time in prison and paying restitution is one of the risks to committing the crime.
Related: Woman faces Social Security fraud after living off husband’s benefits; she dismembered him and threw him in trash after he died
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].