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Jackson County, WV, Man Pleads Guilty To Theft Of Social Security Benefit

Reported: Feb. 10, 2014 2:14 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 10, 2014 3:12 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bethany Simmons) - A Jackson County man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing government money.

Michael W. Smith, 36, of Sandyville will face a maximum of five years in prison and mandatory restitution of $10,100.

In October 2008, Smith began receiving Social Security benefits on behalf of his uncle, James Conrad, as Conrad's representative payee, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's Office.

Smith’s right to receive benefits on behalf of his uncle ended when Conrad died on April 29, 2009. Goodwin said Smith continued to take the benefit payments on behalf of his deceased uncle from May 2009 to July 2010 by cashing benefit checks totaling $10,100.

The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation.

Smith's sentencing has been scheduled for May 7.



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