Skip to main content
Press Release

Meadowlands Man Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison For Stealing Social Security Benefits

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

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced the sentencing of STEVEN PHILLIP SVOBODA, 37, to 15 months in prison for stealing more than $100,000 in Social Security benefits. SVOBODA, who pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds on November 6, 2018, was sentenced by Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright in U.S. District Court in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from July 2010 through August 2017, SVOBODA applied for and received survivor benefits as the representative payee on behalf of his two minor children. In his application and in subsequent annual paperwork submitted to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), SVOBODA repeatedly lied by saying the two minor children lived with him, that he was the sole provider of financial support and care, and that the survivor benefit funds were being used to pay for the children’s care. In reality, the minor children resided with their grandparents and SVOBODA spent the survivor benefit funds on himself. In total, SVOBODA stole approximately $113,804.00 from the SSA.  

This case was the result of an investigation by the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Middlecamp prosecuted the case.


Defendant Information:


Meadowlands, Minn. 


  • Theft of government funds, 1 count


  • 15 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $113,804.00 in restitution




Additional news available on our website.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Updated March 14, 2019