Monday, April 20, 2015

Lawmakers, agencies seek ways to prevent Social Security fraud of deceased relatives

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
In two recent cases, area residents have collected dead parents’ Social Security benefits for decades before getting caught, raising questions about how they were able to get away with it for so long, and how investigators can catch other fraudsters more quickly.
William Chase, 69, of Milford, who was sentenced to six months in prison, stole about $300,000 in Social Security benefits meant for his deceased mother over the course of 25 years. Chase mostly used the money to pay his mortgage and for his family’s college expenses.
A Hamden woman, Sandra Kimbro, 66, was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement, for stealing about $160,457 of her dead mother’s Social Security benefits for nearly three decades. Kimbro chatted to a bank teller about caring for her elderly mother as if she were alive to cover her deception when she made bank withdrawals, according to federal prosecutors.
U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly urged others who are taking a dead relative’s benefits, known as “deceased payee fraud,” to turn themselves in.

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