Georgia Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Stealing Children's Social Security Benefits

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia:

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - Christopher Castleberry has been sentenced to one year and six months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing his children’s Social Security Survivor’s benefits.

“This defendant stole his sons’ benefits and left them to be raised by their maternal grandparents while he continued to receive and spend their money,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “We hope that this sentence gives the boys a small measure of comfort to know that the defendant will answer for his crime against them.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: The defendant became the representative payee for his two minor sons’ Title II Survivor’s benefits after his wife died in 2001.  In 2009, the children moved in with their maternal grandparents and the defendant continued to receive their benefits.  The defendant refused to sign the appropriate paperwork that would have allowed the grandparents to enroll the boys in high school.  Because of the defendant’s refusal, the boys were unable to attend or finish high school.  The defendant did, however, complete paperwork falsely swearing to the Social Security Administration that the boys continued to reside with him and that he spent their benefits on their care and support.

Castleberry, 49, of Albany, Ga., has been sentenced to one year and six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $46,200.  Castleberry pleaded guilty to these charges on June 2, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration - Office of the Inspector General.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Diane C. Schulman prosecuted the case.