New Hampshire Man Sentenced for Deceased Payee Fraud

Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire:

CONCORD, N.H. – Robert H. Duquette, 74, of Hudson, was sentenced today to one year of probation, and was ordered to pay $39,984 in restitution, including an immediate payment of $12,000, to the Social Security Administration, announced United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Duquette’s mother was receiving widow’s benefits from the Social Security Administration at the time of her death in October 2006. After her death, Social Security continued to deposit these monthly benefits into a bank account Duquette held jointly with his mother. However, neither Duquette nor any other individual was entitled to receive the benefits on his deceased mother’s behalf. Duquette failed to advise Social Security that it was making payments erroneously to his deceased mother. Instead, he used the funds deposited into the account for his own personal expenses for over seven years. Because the error was not reported to Social Security, Duquette was able to convert approximately $101,250 in Social Security benefits to his own use.

Duquette, who pleaded guilty to one count of Theft of Public Money on October 17, 2016, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Karen Burzycki.