Pennsauken resident Michael Shelton, age 65, admitted that he has been stealing Social Security checks that belong to his long-time deceased father. The fraud was discovered in June of 2012. Shelton has stolen $204,606 over the past 22 years that belonged to his father. Most recently, he was receiving checks in the amount of $997 a month.
Shelton’s father, only identified as R.S. on court papers, died in 1990, but his death went unreported. Shelton’s father would have been 102 when the scam was discovered in 2012. In the natural course of events, R.S. should have received his Social Security checks starting from when he turned 65 in 1974, and ceasing in 1990 when he died at the age of 80.
Michael Shelton admitted to the theft of government, and faces his sentencing hearing on August 1. He could be imprisoned for up to 10 years and receive a fine of $250,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson is representing the American government in this case. Richardson wants a forfeiture of $204,606 of Shelton’s assets to pay back the money he has stolen over the past 22 years.
Social Security checks are distributed to people who have paid money during their careers and have retired. It is a source of income for the person they are distributed to. Pretending to be the deceased person and stealing checks for personal use is theft, and it is against the law.
If you have any questions about the legalities of Social Security benefits in Pennsylvania, please contact the experienced legal team at Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo at 888-807-WORK.