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Press Release

Volusia County Man Sentenced To More Than 5 Years In Federal Prison For Using His Missing Father’s Identity To Steal Social Security Benefits

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Robert Butzlaff (57, Volusia County) to 5 years and 10 months in federal prison for fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device and aggravated identity theft. As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Butzlaff to pay restitution in the amount of $57,296, and entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $57,296, the proceeds of the access device fraud. A federal jury had found Butzlaff guilty on September 21, 2022.

According to evidence presented at trial, Social Security beneficiary M.B. was reported missing in October 2014 and has never been located. M.B.’s disappearance was not reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and SSA continued to make benefit payments on his behalf. M.B.’s SSA benefits were being deposited into an account held jointly with his son, Butzlaff, at the time of his disappearance. Following M.B.’s disappearance, Butzlaff opened a new bank account using M.B.’s personally identifiable information and redirected M.B.’s SSA benefits to the new account. The new account was solely in M.B.’s name. Butzlaff obtained and used two debit cards issued in the name of M.B. to withdraw the funds that were being deposited by SSA into the new account. Butzlaff used the SSA funds intended for M.B. for his own personal expenses.

“This sentence of 70 months’ imprisonment holds Mr. Butlzaff accountable for intentionally misusing Social Security benefits, intended for his father, for his own personal gain. This is a federal crime, and we will continue to pursue perpetrators of Social Security fraud,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. “I want to thank the Ormond Beach Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Huyler for their efforts in investigating and prosecuting this case.”

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General and the Ormond Beach Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Huyler.

Updated February 2, 2023

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft