HOUSTON (CN) – Federal prosecutors charged an 80-year-old man with Social Security theft, claiming he collected more than $231,000 of his late mother’s benefits since she died in 1984, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Kline Fisher Budd, of Montgomery County, was charged with theft of government property.
Montgomery County is north of Houston’s Harris County.
“The SSA began to investigate the whereabouts of Willa Mae Shaughnesy in December 2010 when her date of birth, as listed on Social Security records, suggested she would have been more than 104 years old,” prosecutors said in a statement. “The state of Texas produced a death certificate for Shaughnesy, believed to be Budd’s mother, which confirmed she died in November 1984.
“Further investigation revealed that Shaughnesy’s Social Security Benefits were paid by electronic deposit directly into her bank account.
“The indictment indicated this was a joint account Shaughnesy held with Budd and he was the only other person authorized to sign on her account. Budd allegedly made withdrawals on this account on a monthly basis.”
The Social Security Administration paid more than $231,000 to Shaughnesy’s account from December 1984 to December 2010, prosecutors said.