News and Press Releases

Galveston Resident Pleads Guilty to Stealing Deceased Benefits for More Than a Decade

June 23, 2014

GALVESTON, Texas – John Stephen Davis, 64, of Galveston, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement and theft of federal government benefits, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Davis admitted during his plea that he obtained a power of attorney over the bank account of an individual on March 4, 2003, just weeks before her death on April 18, 2003. He further admitted he did not notify the government about the death so funds would continue to be deposited into that account. He also did not notify the bank about the woman's death in order to retain his access to the account. Davis admitted he used the benefit payments for his own personal needs and expenses.

“Davis took advantage of the trust placed in him by the deceased in order to defraud the Government," said Inspector General Patrick E. McFarland, U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Office of the Inspector General (OPM - OIG). "Davis stole from hardworking American taxpayers when he committed theft against these two federal programs, and he is now paying the price.”

As part of his plea agreement, Davis was ordered to forfeit $385,632.15, the amount he illegally received as part of the scheme.

Davis entered his guilty plea today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John R. Froeschner. If the plea is accepted by U.S. Circuit Judge Greg Costa, sitting in designation, he will be sentenced Sept. 9, 2014. At that time, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General (OIG ) and Office of Personnel Management – OIG. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.

 

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