In a perfect world, taxpayers would not have to pay for the greed of a few shameless individuals. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The good news is that, many times, the individuals who are fraudulently taking money out of the pockets of taxpayers are caught, as was the case with Bradley Shane McCorkle, 41, of Moline, Illinois.
McCorkle's mother died in August of 2008. Unfortunately, he “forgot” to report her death to the Social Security Administration. As the executor of her estate, McCorkle had access to his mother's bank accounts, including the checking account to which her Social Security Disability benefits payments were sent.
For more than a year, McCorkle withdrew and spent more than $15,000 of the money that was deposited into this account by the Social Security Administration. Fortunately, he did not get away with his wrongdoings. McCorkle was caught and, after a three-day trial, was sentenced to six months in prison for theft of the Social Security funds from his mother's account.
In addition to having to serve six months in prison, McCorkle is also facing three years of supervised release once he is released.
When an individual who is receiving Social Security Disability payments passes away, it is the responsibility of the executor of that individual's estate or the responsibility of the individual's next of kin to report the death to the Social Security Administration to prevent any misuse of Social Security funds. In most cases, the funeral home director who handles the service will report the person's death to the Social Security Administration, but will be unable to do so if not provided with the Social Security Number of the deceased.
Those who do not want to find themselves in prison, like Bradley Shane McCorkle, should report such deaths in a timely manner and not fraudulently receive Social Security retirement or disability. However, the SSA does provide benefits for widows and widowers. If you need to report the death of a family member to the Social Security Administration, you can contact the SSA by visiting your local Social Security Office or by calling the SSA at 800-772-1213.