KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Liberty, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to stealing $84,137 by spending his deceased mother’s Social Security benefits.
Jeffery Schwed, 40, of Liberty, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to the charge contained in a Feb. 19, 2013, federal indictment.
According to today’s plea agreement, Schwed was a joint owner of his mother’s bank account, where her monthly Social Security payments were deposited. Schwed’s mother died on March 16, 2007, but the monthly benefits continued to be deposited into the bank account for approximately five years, through April 2012. Schwed admitted that he converted at least some of these payments for his own personal use.
Schwed admitted that he knowingly and intentionally concealed his mother’s death from the Social Security Administration in order to fraudulently obtain Social Security payments that he knew he was not entitled to receive. Schwed was incarcerated when the Social Security Administration made some of its deposits. Approximately $18,000 in ATM withdrawals were made during the periods when he was incarcerated.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Schwed must pay $84,137 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.
Under federal statutes, Schwed is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.