Maine Man Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison for Deceased Payee Fraud

Date: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine:

Portland, Maine:  United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Robert Caton, 73, of Arrowsic, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge Nancy Torresen to six months in prison and three years of supervised release for Social Security fraud.  He was also ordered to pay $162,786 in restitution.  He pleaded guilty to the charge on January 6, 2016.

According to court documents, Caton’s mother received retirement and survivors benefits following the death of her husband.  The benefits were deposited into a joint account he held with her. When she died in September 2000, Caton did not notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of her death.  As a result, benefits continued to be deposited into the joint account until September 2014.  At that time, the excess payments totaled $162,786.  Caton used all but about $15,000 of these funds to pay personal bills and expenses. 

In pronouncing sentence, Judge Torresen noted that Caton’s crime was a serious offense against all taxpayers that continued for 14 years and netted significant money, but also considered Caton’s age, health issues and lack of criminal history in imposing the sentence.   

The investigation was conducted by the SSA’s Office of Inspector General.