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Dept. of Justice: Janesville man sentenced for theft of social security benefits

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that David Beyer, 66, Janesville, Wisconsin, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson, to 3 years of probation for theft of social security retirement benefits. Beyer pleaded guilty to the charge on April 4, 2024.

            The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA OIG) received an anonymous tip in December 2021 that Beyer continued to receive social security checks from his mother-in-law’s Title II retirement benefits after she passed away in June 2016. As a retirement beneficiary, Beyer’s mother-in-law was paid $1007 a month through direct deposits to her account at a bank in Janesville. Beyer had a duty to inform SSA OIG when the beneficiary passed away. Beyer did not and continued unlawfully collecting these benefits from July 2016 until January 2022. SSA OIG determined the total amount overpaid to the account was $62,210.10.

            At sentencing, Judge Peterson emphasized the seriousness of Beyer’s theft, and noted the irony that Beyer now relies on social security, the very program that he stole from. Judge Peterson imposed a court-ordered payment plan for Beyer to pay restitution to SSA, making clear that paying restitution was not part of Beyer’s punishment, but instead that it is fair “to pay back the money he stole.”

The charge against Beyer was the result of an investigation conducted by Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Ginsberg prosecuted this case. 

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