PORTLAND, Ore.—A Tigard, Oregon man pleaded guilty today to stealing Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.
Steven Clayton Stark, 67, knowingly kept ten years’ worth of benefits intended for his father that should have terminated at the time of his father’s death.
According to court records, Mr. Stark’s father received SSA Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) prior to his death in May, 2009. Rather than informing the SSA of his father’s death, Stark knowingly continued to accept the RIB money that was deposited into a joint account controlled by Stark. Stark transferred the funds into other accounts he owned and then spent it on himself and his family. The total loss amount to SSA is $221,960.00.
On August 25, 2020, Stark was charged by criminal Information with Theft of Government Funds in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. He will be sentenced on February 8, 2021 before U.S. District Court Judge Karin Immergut.
“Social Security benefits theft is a crime that threatens this very important program meant to support the most vulnerable in our nation.” said United States Attorney Williams. “Anyone who knowingly steals the retirement benefits of others must be held accountable for their conduct.”
The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General investigated this case. It is being prosecuted by Rachel Sowray, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.