Wisconsin Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Mother-in-Law's Social Security Benefits

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

News story from WAOW in Wisconsin:

STEVENS POINT -- A Portage County man convicted of stealing his mother-in-law's Social Security checks for more than 30 years and threatening an investigator will spend the next 16 months in prison, his attorney said Tuesday.

Ronald Disher, 73, was convicted of one felony count of theft/false representation in a plea deal in which two other felonies, including forgery, were dismissed. A jury convicted him of two misdemeanors, including endangering safety with a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors contended Disher was involved with two other family members in a plot to cash some $170,000 worth of Marie Jost's Social Security checks. Jost was last seen in the 1980s and federal officials started raising questions about her when she turned 100. She or her remains have not been found.

Disher was sentenced Tuesday to 4 1/2 years in prison. His attorney, Gary Kryshak, said the sentence includes a mandatory parole date and Disher was given credit for the nearly 20 months he has already spent in jail, meaning Disher has about 16 months left of the sentence before going on parole.

During Tuesday's sentencing, Circuit Judge Thomas Flugar also ordered Disher to pay restitution and ordered the state to establish a recommendation within 90 days.

Disher's wife, Delores, and brother-in-law Charles Jost were also charged with stealing the Social Security checks. Jost was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and was sentenced to a mental institution. Charges against Delores Disher were dismissed after she suffered a stroke in jail.

In January, a jury failed to reach a verdict in Ronald Disher's trial on the theft charge, leading to the plea agreement.

According to Kryshak, Disher made a brief statement to the judge before being sentenced Tuesday. "He said he loved his wife and missed her dearly," the attorney said.