CONCORD — Walter Morton, 50, of Laconia, who pleaded guilty to three counts of Social Security Fraud on June 29, was sentenced on Monday to 15 months in prison and one year of supervised release, and he was ordered to make full restitution to the Social Security Administration, announced Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith.
From June 2009 through July 2013, Morton received over $55,000 in Child's Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of two minor children, his biological daughter and his former stepson, serving as their representative payee. Morton was responsible for using the benefits he received on behalf of the children for their current needs, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Although Morton informed SSA on three separate occasions between August 2010 and December 2012 that the children resided with him and that he used the benefit payments he received as their representative payee for the children's care and support, the children had not lived with Morton since 2003 and he had not used their benefits for their current needs. Instead, Morton had diverted all but $2,500 of the benefit payments to his own use.
"Individuals who use their children to commit fraud against the benefits programs provided by Social Security merit special investigative and prosecutorial attention," said Feith. "These individuals have accepted the role of a fiduciary and have a special obligation to ensure that benefits paid by SSA are used for the care and well-being of these minors. Parents who abuse that position can expect to be prosecuted for their thefts."
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Karen Burzycki.
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