From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina:
Columbia, South Carolina -- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Martin Luther Dease, age 54, of Clio, South Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Florence, to Theft of Government Funds, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. United States District Judge Bryan Harwell, of Florence, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
The evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that from November 2016 through May 2017, Dease illegally obtained Child’s Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration by falsely representing himself to be the father of his niece. In fact, as part of the application process, Dease submitted a fraudulent birth certificate, purporting to be his niece’s, in which he listed himself as the father. Through this scheme, Dease illegally obtained over $41,000 from the Social Security Administration.
Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty Dease can receive is imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office is prosecuting the case.