New Mexico Man Charged with Collecting Deceased Father's Social Security

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
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The son of a man who was found dismembered and buried in his backyard in December will appear in federal court on charges of theft of government funds.

Steven Michael Allumbaugh, 62, of Carlsbad, was arrested Aug. 7 following an investigation by the Social Security Administration.

According to the criminal complaint, Allumbaugh concealed the death of his father, Thomas Luther Allumbaugh, for a year so that he could continue withdrawing his Social Security retirement funds.

Allumbaugh withdrew close to $20,000 from his father's Wells Fargo Bank account between January 2012 and January 2013, according to authorities. Allumbaugh reportedly told Bianca Mendez, a special agent with the Office of the Inspector General, he intended to reimburse the money in full.

According to Mendez, Allumbaugh admitted in an April 2013 interview to withdrawing the funds from local ATMs to pay for personal expenses and bills. Mendez said in the complaint that after Thomas Allumbaugh died, Steven dismembered his father with an electric tree-trimming chainsaw and buried him in the backyard. Thomas Allumbaugh's body was discovered in December after police received a call from his grandson, Shane Allumbaugh, in Virgina Beach, Va.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza ordered Steven Allumbaugh detained on Aug. 19 after deeming him a serious flight risk. The order for detainment states that Allumbaugh could be a possible danger to the safety of another person or the community.

Thomas Luther Allumbaugh was found dismembered and buried in the rear of his home on North Canal Street in December of 2012. Steven Allumbaugh had been living with his 88-year-old father and mother in their home. Carlsbad police are still investigating the death of Thomas Allumbaugh and no charges have been filed.

A court date hasn't yet been set.

Steven Allumbaugh is being held pending trial for the federal charges involving the Social Security theft allegations.

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