Man collects $340K in deceased mother's federal benefits

Monday - 8/19/2013, 5:44pm EDT

A Washington, D.C. man was sentenced to 14 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to the theft of more than $340,000 in Social Security retirement benefits and annuity benefits from the Office of Personnel Management meant for his deceased mother.

Eugene Weatherford, 60, admitted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that he had stolen approximately $346,522 — $255,038 in Social Security benefits and $91,484 in OPM annuity benefits — from March 1999 through June 2012.

According to a release from the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, Weatherford continued to receive Social Security and OPM checks after his mother died in February 1999. The checks were deposited into a joint bank account. Weatherford admitted endorsing checks with his or his mother's name. Other times, he left the endorsement blank.

On Aug. 13, U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Roberts ordered Weatherford to pay back the $346,522 in restitution. After his incarceration, Weatherford will be on 36 months of supervised release. He will also have to complete 50 hours of community service.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security's IG office and OPM Inspector General Patrick E. McFarland commended the efforts of the staffs in both IG offices and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their investigation of the case.