A Connecticut man has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for stealing his deceased mother’s Social Security benefits for more than 25 years.
William E. Chase, 69, of Milford, also will have to serve three years of supervised release after being released from prison. He was sentenced in Bridgeport federal court on March 25.
Didn’t notify Social Security Administration
At the time of his mother’s death, Chase was a co-signer on the checking account into which his mother’s monthly Social Security benefits were being deposited.
Despite the fact that Chase was identified as the informant on his mother’s death certificate in 1988, he failed to notify the Social Security Administration of her death or take any steps to stop the monthly benefit payments, federal prosecutors said.
Personal use and enjoyment’
From the time of his mother’s death until May 2014, Social Security benefits worth $307,396 were direct deposited into the bank account controlled by Chase, according to prosecutors. He utilized more than $292,000 of the deposited benefits for his personal use and enjoyment, prosecutors said.
In May 2014, the bank returned the remaining balance of the checking account — or $14,761 — to the Social Security Administration.
In December 2014, Chase pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public funds. He was ordered to pay full restitution.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Anastasia Enos King of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut.