Missouri Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Deceased Mother's Social Security Benefits

Date: 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

 Press Release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri, here

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Liberty, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for stealing $84,137 by spending his deceased mother’s Social Security benefits. 

Jeffery Schwed, 40, of Liberty, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to five years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Schwed to pay $84,137 in restitution to the government. 

On Feb. 11, 2014 Schwed pleaded guilty to theft of government money. Schwed was a joint owner of his mother’s bank account, where her monthly Social Security payments were deposited. Schwed’s mother died on March 16, 2007, but her monthly disabled divorced widow’s insurance benefits continued to be deposited into the bank account for approximately five more years, through April 2012. Schwed admitted that he converted at least some of these payments for his own personal use.

 Schwed admitted that he knowingly and intentionally concealed his mother’s death from the Social Security Administration in order to fraudulently obtain Social Security payments that he knew he was not entitled to receive. Schwed was incarcerated when the Social Security Administration made some of its deposits. Approximately $18,000 in ATM withdrawals were made by unknown persons during the periods while Schwed was incarcerated. 

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.