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David and Kathryn McPeters convicted of conspiring to defraud Social Security
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — On March 24, a federal jury convicted David R. McPeters and Kathryn McPeters of conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration ("SSA"), U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today.
David R. McPeters, 80, has been an inmate of the Michigan Department of Corrections since 1983, when he received two life sentences for murder. Kathryn McPeters, 57, his daughter-in-law, is a resident of Battle Creek, Michigan.
The evidence presented during the three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff established that the two conspired to circumvent the law prohibiting prison inmates from receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Using David’s name and personal information, Kathryn applied online for SSA retirement benefits on his behalf but concealing the fact that he was incarcerated. Her application deceived the SSA into sending funds to a bank account set up for that purpose by Kathryn. Between 2006 and 2015, the scheme netted them approximately $250,000. The proceeds were split between the two, with Kathryn receiving the majority of the benefits. David has been returned to the Michigan Department of Corrections and Kathryn has been continued on bond pending their sentencing hearings, which have not yet been scheduled.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles stated that he was satisfied with the result. "Social Security retirement benefits are an important safety net for all of us when we retire. McPeters is already serving his retirement at taxpayer expense at the Michigan Department of Corrections. The money he and his daughter-in-law swindled should have gone to those retired individuals who have been hardworking taxpayers all their lives."
The case was investigated by the Grand Rapids Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The case was tried by Timothy VerHey, Assistant United States Attorney.