Georgia man admits stealing dead mother’s Social Security benefits worth $90K

Stansell told investigators he was unaware the benefits were still being paid, according to Pak. While Stansell admitted to spending the money, he claimed he never looked at the bank statements. (File photo by Pixabay)
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Stansell told investigators he was unaware the benefits were still being paid, according to Pak. While Stansell admitted to spending the money, he claimed he never looked at the bank statements. (File photo by Pixabay)

A Douglasville, Georgia, man will spend time in a federal prison for stealing benefits after he failed to tell the Social Security Administration about his mother’s death.

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For roughly six years, Monty Jack Stansell pocketed his mother's Social Security benefits — worth more than $90,000 —and used them for personal expenses, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Georgia said in a news release Tuesday.

Stansell’s mother died April 1, 2008.

“Those who steal Social Security benefits threaten the integrity of the program and divert vital resources away from those who need them most,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in the release.

Stansell pleaded guilty April 25.

Authorities twice questioned Stansell about the benefits, which continued to be deposited into a joint SunTrust bank account he shared with his mother, Pak said. 

The first time, Stansell told investigators he was unaware the benefits were still being paid, according to Pak. While Stansell admitted to spending the money, he claimed he never looked at the bank statements.

Investigators questioned Stansell a second time, and the 66-year-old admitted he received a notice from the Social Security Administration in late 2008 informing him of his mother’s continued benefits. Pak said rather than telling the SSA that his mother died, Stansell continued using them.

On Monday, Stansell was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $93,872 in restitution.