Man gets year for stealing $49,000 in Social Security payments

A man who pleaded guilty to illegally receiving close to $50,000 from the federal government has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Charles Ashton Durham, 47, of Leesburg, Va., was sentenced Wednesday on a charge of wire fraud.

Durham once lived in Atlanta with a domestic partner who received Social Security disability benefits from 1991 until 2001. After the partner moved out of state and returned to work, payments were still being sent to the Atlanta address. Durham began collecting mailed payments, forging the former partner’s signature.

At some point, Durham requested that the check be electronically deposited into his checking account.

In all $49,629.18 was used by Durham for his own personal use.

Durham, after his sentence is complete, will be on supervised release for three years. He will also be required to pay $52,866 in restitution.

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