A Ceres man has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud. The man was collecting and cashing checks of a deceased woman.
Charles Francis Sheppard, 56, of Ceres, pleaded guilty Monday to theft of government property, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.
According to the plea agreement, from 1988 to 2009, Mr. Sheppard received the Social Security retirement benefits of a legitimate recipient who had died in 1988.
Mr. Sheppard was on the deceased’s death certificate as the person to be notified. As such, he identified the deceased and provided her personal information to the county recorder who issued the certificate of death.
The Social Security Administration was not informed of the death and its checks kept on coming – and Mr. Sheppard kept on cashing them, prosecutors say.
The government says he could have gotten as much as $400,000 this way.
Mr. Sheppard is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 1, when he could face a maximum penalty for theft of… continue reading
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