Man Scored $500K in Retirement Checks ... for His Dead Father
His dad passed in 1983, but the money kept coming
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 23, 2014 2:00 PM CDT
A New York man took in nearly $500,000 in retirement cash that wasn't his.   (Shutterstock)

(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, 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, notes.

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Aug 24, 2014 7:06 AM CDT
Social Security/retirement fraud is now a huge problem in the "new economy"...
Aug 23, 2014 8:52 PM CDT
People of the United States of America, Amazing,simply F..KN amazing.and no jail time no less, and the guy had the 500K to pay back, where did he get that!When you're dead, you're SSN should be in a Data Base that says you dead(which I think does exist) and I should circulate to any sources of income you had reported on you tax returns.
Aug 23, 2014 7:11 PM CDT
The guy's a damn CROOK, there is no other way to put it. He was previously convicted of insurance fraud then pulls this. So he pays back the principle $ 500K and a $ 45K fine. How about all the money he made on the money ? At 10%, which is not unrealistic for the period, he would have made a LOT more than $ 45,000...In fact he would be getting $ 50,000 PER YEAR towards the end and he did this for 30 YEARS. He should spend AT LEAST one year in prison !!!