A Maryland man pleaded guilty last week to stealing $409,421 worth of his dead mother’s CSRS annuity payments.
Victor Demattia of Mechanicsville, Maryland pleaded guilty to theft of government property according to an announcement from the Justice Department.
According to the plea agreement, from February 2009 through June 2018, Demattia stole monthly Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) pension payments and Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefit (RIB) payments intended for his mother after her death.
His mother was receiving the payments via direct deposit and after she passed away, he didn’t bother notifying OPM or SSA that she had died. Since Demattia was listed with his mother on a joint account, the agencies kept sending the money. Demattia admitted that he withdrew the CSRS and RIB funds each month, typically by checks he endorsed, payable to himself or to his now-defunct medical transport business, Patriot Medical Transport.
On March 5, 2019, during an interview conducted by agents of the SSA Office of Inspector General and OPM Office of Inspector General, Demattia admitted that he spent his mother’s RIB and CSRS payments after her death. He stated that he knew he was not entitled to the money, but spent the fund to cover expenses for his failing business such as payroll, fuel, receivables, and other operating expenses, as well as on personal expenses through debit card purchases after the closure of his business.
In total, Demattia stole $369,018 from OPM and $40,403 from SSA after his mother’s death. As part of his plea agreement, Demattia will be required to forfeit and to pay a money judgment in the amount of $409,421.
He faces up to 10 years in prison, although actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. As part of his plea agreement, the government has agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than 18 months in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for September 24, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.