Man Scored $500K in Retirement Checks ... for His Dead Father

His dad passed in 1983, but the money kept coming

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 23, 2014 2:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – For 30 years after his father died, a New York man continued to receive his retirement money—amounting to nearly $500,000, prosecutors say. Peter Spino, 78, pleaded guilty to stealing government cash, but he won't have to go to jail, lohud.com reports: Instead, he's been sentenced to a year of home confinement and two additional years' probation. He's already paid the money back, but he's been ordered to pay a $45,000 fine.

Spino's dad, Carmen, passed away in 1983, but Spino didn't tell the US Railroad Retirement Board. It wasn't until 2012 that federal authorities began to investigate the situation. Spino told officials his father was abroad, dividing his time between Europe and North Africa, an affidavit says. He said he had no contact information for Carmen, though he also claimed to hear from him occasionally. Finally, in late 2012, he acknowledged that his father had died. His lawyer asked officials to go easy on him because he'd had a tough life, including injuries at home and on the job, lohud.com notes.

A New York man took in nearly $500,000 in retirement cash that wasn't his.
A New York man took in nearly $500,000 in retirement cash that wasn't his.   (Shutterstock)
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