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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 13, 2015

Hurricane man gets probation for stealing more than $24,000 from Social Security

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that Vallas Paul Bell, 31, of Hurricane, West Virginia, received five years of probation today for stealing more than $24,000 of his mother’s Social Security Benefits after her death.  The Social Security payments for Bell’s mother were deposited in her checking account at City National Bank.  For over a year and a half after her death, Bell used a debit card to withdraw money from his mother’s account and spend it on himself. As part of his sentence, Judge Thomas Johnston ordered Bell to make full restitution to the Social Security Administration.

The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorneys Blair L. Malkin and Erik S. Goes were responsible for the prosecution.

Updated April 13, 2015