Federal Jury Convicts Volusia County Man For Using His Missing Father’s Identity To Steal Social Security Benefits
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida:
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Robert Butzlaff (57, Volusia County) guilty of four counts of fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device and aggravated identity theft. Butzlaff faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each of the fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device charges and a consecutive 2-year mandatory minimum on the aggravated identity theft charge. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 7, 2022.
According to evidence presented at trial, Social Security beneficiary M.B. was reported missing in October 2014 and has never been located. M.B.’s disappearance was not reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and SSA continued to make benefit payments on his behalf. M.B.’s SSA benefits were being deposited into an account held jointly with his son, Butzlaff, at the time of his disappearance. Following M.B.’s disappearance, Butzlaff opened a new bank account using M.B.’s personally identifiable information and redirected M.B.’s SSA benefits to the new account. The new account was solely in M.B.’s name. Butzlaff obtained, and used, two debit cards issued in the name of M.B. to withdraw the funds being deposited by SSA into the new account. Butzlaff used the SSA funds intended for M.B. for his own personal expenses.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General and the Ormond Beach Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Huyler.