Man Sentenced for Stealing Deceased Benefits for More Than a Decade

GALVESTON, September 15, 2014 – John Stephen Davis, 64, of Galveston, has been ordered to prison following his convictions of embezzlement and theft of federal government benefits, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Davis pleaded guilty June 23, 2014.

Today, U.S. Circuit Judge Greg Costa, sitting by designation, handed Davis a 24-month sentence to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release. As part of his plea agreement, Davis was ordered to forfeit $373,814.66 - the amount he illegally received as part of the scheme. In handing down the sentence, Judge Costa said that he had considered the long-term repetitive nature of the crime and the seriousness of the theft from the Social Security and retirement programs.

Davis admitted during his plea in June that he obtained a power of attorney over the bank account of an individual on March 4, 2003, just weeks before her death on April 18, 2003. He further admitted he did not notify the government about the death so funds would continue to be deposited into that account. He also did not notify the bank about the woman's death in order to retain his access to the account. Davis admitted he used the benefit payments for his own personal needs and expenses.

Davis was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Office of Personnel Management – OIG. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger prosecuted the case.

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