FAIRFIELD MAN ADMITS STEALING MORE THAN $300,000 IN SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS MADE TO DECEASED FATHER
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BRIGGS, JR., 68, of Fairfield, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of theft of government property stemming from his theft of more than $300,000 in Social Security benefit payments that were made to his deceased father.
According to court documents and statements made in court, BRIGGS’ father, James Briggs, Sr., began receiving monthly Social Security Retirement Insurance benefits in 1974. On August 20, 1982, James Briggs, Sr. died. From the time of his father’s death until August 2011, BRIGGS continued to receive, and use, the monthly Social Security benefit payments intended for his father. Also, in March 1997, BRIGGS contacted the Social Security Administration and requested a change of address to which any future correspondence regarding his father’s Social Security benefits would be sent.
Between 1982 and 2011, BRIGGS received a total of $307,925 in Social Security benefit payments that were intended for his father.
BRIGGS is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on March 26, 2012, at which time BRIGGS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to approximately $600,000. BRIGGS also will be ordered to pay full restitution to the government. To date, he has paid approximately $38,000 in restitution.
This matter has been investigated by the United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy.
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