Federal prosecutors say that a man from Missouri pled guilty this week to stealing his deceased mother’s Social Security benefits for more than a quarter of a century and amassing over $200,000 in the process. The theft occurred in the state of Missouri.
According to a press statement issued by the Department of Justice, the defendant, identified as Reginald Bagley, 62, of Dellwood, Missouri, pled guilty on Thursday to a felony charge of stealing money that belonged to the United States. When he is convicted in March for the offence, he may get a jail term of up to ten years and a fine of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
According to the Social Security Administration, Mr. Bagley told federal prosecutors that he had never informed the agency of his mother’s death on March 12, 1994.
According to a plea deal reached in the case, Mr. Bagley opened a bank account in 1998 in which his late mother’s benefits were put. This occurred after his mother had passed away.
According to the prosecution, Mr. Bagley took a total of $197,329 in Social Security payments from the beginning of April 1994 through the end of July 2020.
Mr. Juengel said that the defendant “has shown a great deal of regret and is aware that he will be required to make restitution payments for the sum of money that was stolen.”
The lawsuit brought against Mr. Bagley sheds light on an ongoing issue in which individuals continue to accept benefits that are intended for their deceased relatives.
According to the research, the government agency spent over $8.3 billion in illegal payments in the year 2020, with overpayments accounting for approximately 6.8 billion of that total.
According to Mr. Juengel, the fact that it took the Social Security Administration such a long time to examine Mr. Bagley’s case was one of the most peculiar aspects of his situation.
Mr. Juengel said that the money “simply kept being utilised,” despite the fact that it continued to come in and continue to be squandered. After some time had passed, the Social Security Administration decided to conduct an inquiry.
It is not known when precisely the CIA started looking into Mr. Bagley as a suspect in the case.
On Friday, the Social Security Administration and its Office of Inspector General did not reply promptly to emails and phone calls asking for comments. Both a phone call and an email sent to the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri were not immediately returned by the office.
Prosecutors claim that the Social Security Administration attempted to get in touch with the defendant’s mother after discovering that she had not been making use of the Medicare benefits to which she was entitled. The agency sent a letter to the defendant’s address in an effort to do so.
According to the terms of the plea deal, the bank account was closed not long after the letter was sent, and the remaining amount of $2.83 was to be transferred to Mr. Bagley in the form of a cashier’s check on July 24, 2020.
Mr. Juengel said that Mr. Bagley was “not a rich person,” despite the fact that he is married and has five children in addition to some grandkids.
According to Mr. Juengel, Mr. Bagley was a driver for a garbage company who had a history of both melancholy and anxiety and had been attempting “to make ends meet.”
He said that all of them were variables that contributed to the nature of what was occurring. “Those are all things that contributed,”
Nevertheless, Mr. Juengel highlighted that his client did not want to evade responsibility for what he had done and that this was something that his client wanted to accomplish.