Former Belmont County attorney sentenced to 5 years in prison for stealing more than $800,000 from elderly victim with dementia
DAYTON, Ohio – A 55-year-old Dayton man was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 15 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining Social Security and COVID-19 relief funding in his deceased father’s name.
After a recent Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General audit caused the benefit payments to stop in summer 2020, Jon Devol, also known as John Atkins, called the SSA office pretending to be his elderly mother whom he had fraudulently named as the payee.
According to court documents, Devol impersonated his mother throughout the 30-minute, recorded phone call. During the call, Devol provided his parents’ Social Security numbers and when asked if his father was deceased, he said no. When the customer service representative reiterated that Devol’s father was listed as deceased in the SSA database, the defendant said, “That’s a mistake.”
In total, from 2015 until the 2020 audit, Devol received nearly $59,000 in Social Security benefits. Throughout those five years, Devol returned questionnaires to the SSA pretending to be his mother and stating the money was being used to care for his father’s needs.
In May 2020, Devol also received a $1,200 COVID-19 relief stimulus payment in his dead father’s name.
As part of his sentence, Devol was ordered to repay the $58,782 to Social Security and $1,200 to the IRS.
Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the sentence imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case. The SSA-OIG and United States Secret Service investigated the case.
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