San Diego man sentenced for stealing late father's Social Security benefits

Posted at 4:18 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-06 19:18:13-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The man who received $272,000 of his dead father’s Social Security benefits was sentenced Monday to federal prison time.

Abel Perez, 55, pleaded guilty to accepting the benefits after his father died in 1997.

Prosecutors said Perez would forge his father’s signature on a check payable to himself and divert the funds for his personal use.

Perez admitted he knew he was not entitled to the funds which were put into the account.

“The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General is pleased to see that this crime, which affects every individual relying on the Social Security Trust Fund for their retirement, was taken seriously and punished appropriately in this case,” said Robb Stickley, the Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division, which is responsible for Southern California.  “We hope that this sentence sends a message that it is the responsibility of every individual in our society to protect their own retirement savings, and ensure that a loved one’s death does not go unreported.”

A judge sentenced Perez to one year and one day in federal prison. Perez will also have to repay the money.