Man charged in Idaho for collecting Social Security benefits from deceased relative
BURLEY – An Oregon man has pleaded guilty to collecting Social Security benefits from a family member in Idaho for years after his death.
James Alvarado has pleaded guilty to theft of government funds after Acting U.S. Attorney Rafale Gonzalez filed a complaint this month. Prosecution documents indicate that between 2016 and 2020, Alvarado received Social Security benefits for a person who died on December 25, 2015, who is listed by the initials JA
An obituary shows that Alvarado’s family member Jose Jaime Alvarado died that day at the age of 77.
Court records show that the Social Security Administration paid for JA’s benefits through a Zion bank account, but they were unaware that he died in 2015. Benefits continued to be paid until the spring of 2020, when the Social Security Administration discovered that Alvarado had a power of attorney on the account.
Alvarado had withdrawn most of the money, totaling $ 54,072, and used it for his personal expenses.
Investigators spoke to Alvarado in January. Alvarado said he knew the Social Security Administration continued to deposit money and knew the money was not theirs. Alvarado said he knew he had to return the money but never did, according to court records.
While Alvarado pleaded guilty to the prosecution on Oct. 6, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000.
“The defendant agrees to pay and be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $ 54,072 to the United States Social Security Administration,” the plea agreement reads.
Alvarado’s conviction is not yet scheduled.