Boulder County Woman Pleads Guilty After Stealing More Than $429,000 From Federal Government
Guilty plea involves one of the largest losses in a deceased payee case in Colorado federal court
DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced today that Kathleen McCalib, age 52, of Boulder, pleaded guilty to theft of government funds. McCalib appeared at the change of plea hearing free on bond. Her bond was continued at the conclusion of the hearing. The Inspector General for both the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration joined in this announcement.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, McCalib’s father died in late 2006. At the time he died, he was receiving both Social Security retirement benefits and a civil service retirement pension from his time as a federal employee. The federal government was not informed of his death, so these payments continued to be deposited each month into a joint account that McCalib held with her father. For about the next twelve years, McCalib continued to spend these funds, frequently forged her deceased father’s signature on checks, including large checks to herself that she wrote, and then endorsed on the back with her own signature. She occasionally paid a home mortgage from the account. By the time law enforcement caught up with her, McCalib had taken and spent $429,454.46 in federal government money to which she was not entitled.
“Accepting Social Security public retirement benefits intended for a person who has died is just like any other theft and will be treated accordingly,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “In this case, it’s even worse because the victim is all of us – the taxpayers who fund these programs.”
“Improper payments threaten the financial integrity of the retirement program and the trust fund,” said Thomas W. South, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, OPM OIG. “We are grateful for the hard work of our criminal investigators, criminal analysts, and our partners at the Department of Justice. Their diligence helps protect retirees and safeguard taxpayer funds.”
“This guilty plea is a warning to those who misuse Social Security benefits after someone dies,” said Jennifer Walker, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, Social Security Office of the Inspector General. “This is a Federal crime, one we will continue to vigorously pursue. I want to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for its efforts to bring this individual to justice.”
McCalib was charged on December 19, 2019. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 28, 2020. The guilty plea was entered yesterday, January 14, 2020, before U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore.
This case was jointly investigated by the Inspector General offices of both the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration.