The Department of Justice announced on February 23 that a fifty-two-year-old Ohio man who had formerly worked as an investment advisor had been sentenced to twenty-four months in federal prison after he was convicted of stealing $370,000 in Social Security disability benefits. The same man was also convicted of making false statements, related to stealing $20,000 from a church in Xenia, Ohio.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Ohio, the man “stated that he had not worked since 2010 as the result of a shooting. In reality, Severt had been working since at least 2014 in the tree trimming business.” He has also been ordered to pay $370,000 in restitution.
The Dayton Daily News reported that the man was in fact shot, in September 2010, by his now-former wife, who went to prison for that crime, while the then-wife's boyfriend at the time was also sentenced for inciting the incident.
Iowa Man Sentenced For Misappropriating Social Security Benefits
Meanwhile, an Iowa man was sentenced to ten months in federal prison after he was convicted of stealing more than $15,000 in Social Security benefits from a “severely disabled woman” who was living in a nursing home and was his relative.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Iowa, the 38-year-old man pled guilty to representative payee fraud. A representative payee, according to a Siouxland Proud story about the case, is “a person who the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows to manage Social Security funds for those who are unable to manage it themselves.”
The announcement said the man admitted his relative to a nursing home under the false pretense that she was on Medicaid. He then “used his victim’s social security funds for his own purposes, including at a casino, a grocery store, and for videogames, subscription services, and other bills.”
He later removed the victim from the nursing home once they started asking questions, stiffing the nursing home for more than $50,000.
The same man also “falsely underreported his household income and received an overpayment of Section 8 federal housing benefits,” per the Siouxland Proud story.
In addition to the ten months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release, the man was ordered to pay $15,499 in restitution.
Massachusetts Man Accused of Using Fake Social Security Numbers
A Massachusetts man was sentenced on February 24 with “submitting fraudulent documentation” in order to receive CARES Act funds. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office for Massachusetts, the 31-year-old man used “Social Security numbers different from his own and fraudulent documentation to open bank accounts for his shell companies” in furtherance of the scheme.
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, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The 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.