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Florida Woman Charged with Stealing Deceased Father's Social Security Payments after Hiding his Body

June 16, 2017

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida:

 

Ocala, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Susan Marie Kort (61, Ocala) with theft of government funds. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Kort that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $35,577.60, which represents the proceeds of the alleged criminal conduct.

 

According to the facts described in open court today, Kort’s elderly father passed away at his Lake County residence in approximately November 2011. After discovering the body, Kort buried her father in the backyard of her Eustis home and did not report the death to authorities. She then used a power of attorney for her father’s financial affairs to withdraw and spend the Social Security Administration (SSA) benefit payments that were being deposited into his bank account. The SSA eventually suspended these benefit payments in December 2013, when they were unable to contact Kort’s father.

 

When confronted by investigators, Kort admitted to hiding her father’s body and to defrauding the SSA by unlawfully taking his benefit payments. She eventually led investigators to her father’s grave and subsequent DNA testing confirmed the identity of the remains as Kort’s father.

 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

 

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

 <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida: </p>

 

Ocala, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Susan Marie Kort (61, Ocala) with theft of government funds. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Kort that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $35,577.60, which represents the proceeds of the alleged criminal conduct.

 

According to the facts described in open court today, Kort’s elderly father passed away at his Lake County residence in approximately November 2011. After discovering the body, Kort buried her father in the backyard of her Eustis home and did not report the death to authorities. She then used a power of attorney for her father’s financial affairs to withdraw and spend the Social Security Administration (SSA) benefit payments that were being deposited into his bank account. The SSA eventually suspended these benefit payments in December 2013, when they were unable to contact Kort’s father.

 

When confronted by investigators, Kort admitted to hiding her father’s body and to defrauding the SSA by unlawfully taking his benefit payments. She eventually led investigators to her father’s grave and subsequent DNA testing confirmed the identity of the remains as Kort’s father.

 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

 

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

 

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