This week, a 49-year-old woman from Wilmington, North Carolina, became the latest person to plead guilty to charges of stealing social security funds from a deceased relative.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the eastern district of North Carolina, the woman pleaded guilty to theft of state property, described as a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. She risks up to ten years in prison.
The government says that after the woman’s mother died in 2007, she did not report the death to the Social Security Administration, as required by law. Instead, in 2008, the woman began redirecting the social security shipments to her own address, which continued through several replacements over many years.
In addition, the woman was “identified on bank records where she used her deceased mother’s social security benefits.”
According to the Charlotte Observer, the woman stole checks between August 2008 and October 2019. No dollar amount was released for the total amount taken, except that it exceeded $ 1,000. The sentencing is set for May.
Other fraud cases in Nebraska, Florida
In another case involving fraud, this time in Nebraska, a fifty-five-year-old man who previously lived in Omaha was convicted of making a false statement on a Social Security Administration form.
For ten years, between 2009 and 2019, the man received Social Security disability and Medicaid benefits along with SNAP benefits for four years, between 2013 and 2017. During that time, according to the report citing the Office of the Inspector General, man had lied about his employment status. While claiming “he only washed cars occasionally”, the man actually owned a company taking back vehicles.
This follows a relatively high-profile case earlier this month in Florida in which a man stole $ 77,596 in social security income believed to go to his father, who died in Ecuador in 2010. according to the Miami Herald. The benefits had been credited to an account in 1996, when the father was still alive, through 2017. According to the Herald, the father had not used his Medicare benefits – “a hint that the person might be dead.” But when the son changed address in 2019, $ 22,074 was released to the account.
The man, a U.S. customs and border officer in Florida, pleaded guilty to theft of public funds. According to the newspaper, he was sentenced to six months in prison (house arrest), one year probation and $ 77,596 in damages.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and splice today . Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.