Connecticut Man Sentenced for Stealing $300,000 of Deceased Father's Social Security Benefits

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Office Affiliation: 

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BRIGGS, JR., 68, of Fairfield, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing more than $300,000 in Social Security benefit payments that were made to his deceased father.  BRIGGS also was ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.

According to court documents and statements made in court, BRIGGS’ father, James Briggs, Sr., began receiving monthly Social Security Retirement Insurance benefits in 1974.  On August 20, 1982, James Briggs, Sr. died.  From the time of his father’s death until August 2011, BRIGGS continued to receive, and use, the monthly Social Security benefit payments intended for his father.  Also, in March 1997, BRIGGS contacted the Social Security Administration and requested a change of address to which any future correspondence regarding his father’s Social Security benefits would be sent.

Between 1982 and 2011, BRIGGS received a total of $307,925 in Social Security benefit payments that were intended for his father.

BRIGGS has been ordered to make full restitution to the government.  To date, he has paid approximately $38,000.

On January 6, 2012, BRIGGS pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.

This matter was investigated by the United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.  The case was prosecuted by prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy.