Two Georgia Men Sentenced for Stealing Government Benefits
ATLANTA – John W. Jackson, Jr., and Corry Sandlin, have been sentenced in federal district court for stealing their deceased parent’s government benefits. Each defendant lied to the government about their parent’s deaths, and continued to receive benefits destined for the deceased.
“Both defendants got away with their lies for years, stealing large sums of taxpayer dollars,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Theft like this directly impacts others who receive these types of benefits. These two together stole over $500,000 of government money, meant to sustain those who have paid into the system, and expect to have something in retirement.”
“The OIG is committed to working with the Social Security Administration to detect and investigate deceased payee fraud cases, in which individuals conceal death information from SSA to fraudulently receive Social Security benefits intended for the deceased. We thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northern Georgia for prosecuting these and other deceased payee fraud cases,” stated Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Social Security Office of the Inspector General’s Atlanta Field Division.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Defendant Jackson’s father died in 1980 and the Social Security Administration (SSA) continued to pay his retirement benefits until 2014. When initially questioned in 2015 by Social Security agents about his father’s whereabouts, Jackson told the agents this father had run away with a younger woman a year prior and he did not know where his father was. Only after interviewing another family member did the SSA learn that Jackson’s father had died decades earlier. Eventually, the SSA was able to determine that Jackson’s father died in 1980. In total, Social Security paid out and Jackson improperly received $241,171.60.
Sandlin’s mother died in 2004. After her death, the SSA continued to pay her spousal retirement benefits and Defense Finance & Accounting Services (DFAS) continued to pay her survivor benefits. In fact, Sandlin not only never informed the SSA of his mother’s death, he completed and submitted 11 annual certifications to DFAS swearing that she remained eligible for the benefits. The SSA paid out $126,103.00 and DFAS paid out $145,716.00, after Sandlin’s mother’s death. In total, Sandlin improperly received a total of $271,819.00
John W. Jackson, Jr., 70, of Decatur, Georgia, has been sentenced to ten months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $241,171.6. Jackson has been convicted on these charges on July 25, 2016, after he pleaded guilty.
Corry Sandlin, 68, of Marietta, Georgia, has been sentenced to one year, and three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $254,965.14
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General.