Milford man sentenced for stealing dead mother's social security benefits
A Milford man, William E. Chase, 69, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to six months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing his deceased mother’s social security benefits for more than 25 years, according to Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Chase’s mother, a Social Security benefits recipient, died in November 1988. 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 deposited, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office.
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, officials said.
From the time of his mother’s death until May 2014, $307,396 in Social Security benefits were direct deposited into the bank account controlled by Chase.
Chase used more than $292,000 of the deposited benefits for his personal use and enjoyment, according to the press release.
In May 2014, the bank returned the remaining balance of the checking account, approximately $14,761, to the Social Security Administration.
Chase was ordered to pay full restitution.
On December 3, 2014, Chase pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public funds.
The matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General – Office of Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia Enos King.