Ernest Edgar Black, 57, stole his son’s Social Security benefits was sentenced today by United States District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. to 15 months confinement which included in a combination of prison, halfway house placement, and home confinement.

“Black lied to the Social Security Administration so he could get the benefits that were supposed to be used for the care of his teenage son; instead, he used the money for himself.  This selfish act robbed his son of much needed financial assistance” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Black was sentenced to 3 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, during that time he must serve 6 months community confinement in a halfway house, and an additional 6 months in home confinement.  Black was also order to pay $26,815 in restitution.  Black was convicted of mail fraud and Social Security fraud on February 28, 2012, after a two-day trial.

According to the charges and other information presented in court:  In September 2007, Black was found eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  The following month, Black applied for auxiliary benefits for his son and completed the application to be selected as the representative payee for his son.  A representative payee receives benefit payments on behalf of individuals who are incapable of managing their own finances.  Black falsely stated on the representative payee application that benefits payments should be sent to him because he was the custodial parent and provided for his his son’s care and support.  The evidence at trial showed that Black was not the custodial parent and did not provide for his son’s care and support as he alleged.  Black received more than $26,000 in Social Security benefits designated for his son from November 2007 through November 2008.  Black used all the money he received for his own personal use.

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