Boston Woman Charged With Cashing More Than $140,000 In Social Security Checks Made Out To Her Dead Father

Monday, May 14, 2012
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A local woman has been charged with stealing more than $140,000 in social security checks made out to her dead father, according to a complaint filed Friday in Boston District Court. According to the complaint, filed by SSA Special Agent Kyle Zgraggen, Nancy J. Bruett, 63, of 23 Whittier Road, Marblehead, allegedly cashed dozens of social security checks made out to her father, who died at the age of 93 in 2001. According to the complaint, the investigation into Bruett began when Zgraggen's office received a fraud allegation from the administration's Salem office in 2011. "The allegation reported that (the victim), a current SSA Title II Retirement beneficiary, had died in 2001, and a family member had continued to fraudulently obtain and negotiate (his) SSA Retirement benefits after his death," the report read. Zgraggen reportedly discovered that the SSA "did not have an electronic 'death entry record' for (the victim)" and noticed that her father's address had been listed as "care of Nancy Bruett" since 1998. Bruett reportedly received $1,201 per month since her father's death - between December of 2001 and November of 2011, Bruett fraudulently received $141,166.50 in social security checks, according to the complaint. When the investigation concluded, the balance of the account was reportedly $1,308. Bruett reportedly admitted to stealing the money during an interview with Zgraggen in October and said she did so because she and her husband "had fallen behind on their mortgage, they were desperate and money had gotten tough," according to the report.