From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York:
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK – Jason L. Wentworth, age 35, of Oneonta, New York, was sentenced on January 2 to five years of probation for stealing Social Security survivors benefits and for making false statements to the Social Security Administration that enabled Wentworth to obtain those benefits.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and John F. Grasso, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Division.
On August 21, 2019, Wentworth pled guilty to a six-count indictment charging three counts of theft of government property, one count of representative payee fraud, and two counts of making false statements in connection with his theft of Social Security benefits. Following his wife’s death, Wentworth applied for and received survivors benefits on his son’s and his own behalf, and continued to receive and keep those benefits, even after the son’s maternal grandparents took over as his son’s primary caregivers. Wentworth was not entitled to collect benefits on his own behalf once he stopped serving as the primary caregiver for his son.
Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also ordered Wentworth to pay restitution to the government in the amount of $27,525 and restitution to his son in the amount of $25,035. Additionally, Judge McAvoy ordered Wentworth to forfeit $3,822.
This case was investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily C. Powers.