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Abel Jose Perez was sentenced yesterday (November 6) to a year and a day in prison for cashing in his father's Social Security benefits after he died. Perez raked in $271,925.60 after his father's death in 1997.

Rather than telling the Social Security Administration of his father's death, Abel would forge his father's name to the government checks, according to his confession last May. The checks continued to pile up in his parents' bank account, and he had exclusive access to it as he illegally converted the money to his own uses.

Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson said this was the largest such theft in the Southern District of California, but the office has prosecuted a significant number of these cases in the past three years.

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Comments

JustWondering Nov. 7, 2017 @ 2:12 p.m.

I thought Social Security checks were direct deposit now-a-days. In addition you’d think their would be some sort of coordination between the County, who issues death certificates and the Federal government who pays the benefit. How hard could it be to share a SSN between them and prevent fraud? Then again, a crook is crook, even when stealing your deceased father’s benefit. Any word on the number of years involved in this swindle?

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Ponzi Nov. 7, 2017 @ 5:10 p.m.

Sixteen years, the funds were direct deposited into his fathers bank account.

I'll bet this is pretty common too. The bank would seem to have some negligence. There is a federal database called the "United States Social Security Administration's Death Master File" which financial institutions could query periodically. But that might not be good business because even dead peoples money is profitable.

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Visduh Nov. 7, 2017 @ 8:30 p.m.

More than a decade ago, when my father passed away, the mortuary I was using made a really big deal about reporting deaths to the SSA. They claimed to be heavily under the gun to get them reported pronto, and insisted upon having proof of his SSN. The deposits stopped immediately.

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JustWondering Nov. 8, 2017 @ 4:08 a.m.

Ponzi: Thanks for the info. The story is unclear about where Perez's father died. For example, let's say he died in Mexico, then I can understand how this would have been purposely perpetrated by Perez. If that was/is the case then a year and a day sentence is much to lenient. Any clarification Don?

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:32 a.m.

JustWondering: I don't know where he died. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:25 a.m.

Visduh: That was the proper way to handle the death. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:24 a.m.

Ponzi: Yes, the U.S. Attorney says this has been pretty common in recent years. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:23 a.m.

JustWondering: These were direct deposit. Perez kept forging his dead father's name. Don Bauder

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AlexClarke Nov. 8, 2017 @ 6:19 a.m.

I told my wife to have me embalmed in the sitting position and put me in the front window and keep cashing my SS checks.

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JustWondering Nov. 8, 2017 @ 6:51 a.m.

I’m just wondering if your wife’s name is Norma? Maybe that’s what Norman Bates was really doing, as he needed to keep up on the mortgage payments for the Bates Motel.

Oh, BTW, I did some checking, while it’s voluntary, many funeral directors, i.e. mortuaries, automatically report SSN of the deceased to the Social Security Administration, “as a service” to the bereaved. So either you need to tell her not to give your SSN to anyone, or she’ll need to learn embalming for herself. The latter seem a bit ghoulish to me. But you never know what people are willing to do for a few bucks these days.

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:28 a.m.

JustWondering: Yes, preventing the widow from going to prison is indeed a "service." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 1:38 p.m.

JustWondering: A ghoul and his dead father's money SHOULD be soon parted. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Nov. 9, 2017 @ 8:08 a.m.

Don: Nice one! But a ghoul who is a greedy fool, ends up in prison with no tools.

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2017 @ 9:13 a.m.

JustWondering: A ghoul should go to the School for Scoundrels before trying to fool the Social Security Administration. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:27 a.m.

AlexClarke: Would your neighbors ever wonder about someone sitting in the front windows 24/7? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 1:40 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Yes, but if the curtains shielded the body from view, the ruse wouldn't work. Best, Don Bauder

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panchy Nov. 9, 2017 @ 10:47 a.m.

Sheer curtains would be better. Without them, it would be a dead give away.

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2017 @ 6:20 a.m.

panchy: Sheer nonsense. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2017 @ 6:14 p.m.

JustWondering: Are you certain you are dead? Check your pulse. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Nov. 10, 2017 @ 7:25 a.m.

only at night, give the illusion a better chance than 24/7

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2017 @ 9:15 a.m.

Murphyjunk: Who wants to move a corpse every day? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2017 @ 6:16 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Damn! I didn't think of that. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke Nov. 9, 2017 @ 7:03 a.m.

I don't think most of them would notice. My inspiration comes from the movie Weekend with Bernie (or what ever the name was. Stupid movie but funny)

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2017 @ 6:21 a.m.

AlexClarke: Funny how stupid movies can be funny. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2017 @ 7:30 a.m.

Debra Kuzma:Possibly, but that involves a lot of unpleasantness of rip off the government. Best, Don Bauder

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