Slidell Man Sentenced To Six Months in Jail After Stealing Over $75,000 From Federal Retirement Benefits Program
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana:
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MICHAEL R. MATHERNE (“MATHERNE”), age 62, of Slidell, Louisiana was sentenced on June 7, 2022 to serve six (6) months in federal prison after pleading guilty as charged to an indictment for Theft of Federal Funds on July 22, 2021. Additionally, the Court ordered MATHERNE to pay a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.
According to the indictment, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), an agency of the United States, operated the Retirement Survivor Insurance Benefit program (“RSI Program”). The purpose of the RSI Program is to provide benefits to certain persons, including widows and widowers, in their retirement.
Following the death of his spouse, MATHERENE never advised the SSA of his spouse’s death and continued depositing the spouse’s SSA checks into their joint bank account. From December 2012 through March 2019, MATHERNE received monthly SSA benefits totaling approximately $75,838, which he deposited into their bank account and used for his living expenses.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr.