Mauldin Woman Sentenced to Sixteen Months in Prison for Theft of Deceased Mother’s Social Security Administration Benefits
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina:
ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA — Beth Beamer, a/k/a Beth Ballard, 48, of Mauldin, was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to theft of government property.
According to court documents, in October 2020, the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG) received information from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office that Beth Beamer’s mother, Rena Beamer, reportedly went missing from her home in Mauldin on an unknown date in the summer of 2017. SSA-OIG learned that despite Rena Beamer being a missing person since 2017, her SSA Title II-Retirement benefits were still being paid and deposited into her bank account, to which Beth Beamer had access.
From May 2017 to May 2020, SSA electronically deposited benefits into Rena Beamer’s bank account. In May 2020, the benefits were suspended for SSA to develop a new address for Rena Beamer. On December 21, 2020, SSA received a phone call from an unknown female caller who identified herself as Rena Beamer and provided Rena’s name, date of birth, place of birth, and bank account number. Additionally, the caller, who was later identified as Beth Beamer, updated the mailing address to an address in North Carolina. This phone call caused the SSA to restart paying benefits into the bank account of Rena Beamer. SSA-OIG reviewed bank records for Rena Beamer’s bank account and determined that Beth Beamer was accessing the SSA payments and spending the money on herself.
In May 2021, Beth Beamer was arrested in North Carolina on South Carolina state charges of Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult, Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, Obstruction of an Investigation, Abuse or Neglect Resulting in Death, Unauthorized Removal of a Dead Body, and Destruction/Desecration of Human Remains. Upon her arrest, she was interviewed by Greenville County Sheriff’s Office deputies and SSA-OIG agents.
Regarding the theft of Rena Beamer’s SSA benefits, Beth Beamer stated that in August 2017, she had removed Rena Beamer’s dead body from their Mauldin home and thrown the body down a roadside embankment into a river near Tryon, North Carolina. She also said that she did not notify SSA of the death of Rena Beamer, that she called the SSA to impersonate Rena Beamer, and that she continued to receive the SSA benefits intended for Rena Beamer until May 2021. SSA-OIG determined that from August 2017 until May 2021, Beth Beamer received $69,909.40 of Social Security Administration Title II-Retirement benefits to which she was not entitled.
United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain sentenced Beamer to 16 months in prison, to be followed by three years of court-ordered supervision. Beamer was also ordered to pay $68,909.40 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. There is no parole in the federal system.
The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) investigated the case with the assistance of the Greenville County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Office; South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED); Lincoln County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office; and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCBI).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean H. Secor prosecuted the case.