A Highland, Utah man has admitted that he never informed the government of his father’s death as part of a scheme to keep for himself the dead man’s retirement benefits from the Civil Service Retirement System. The father started receiving benefits when he retired in 1972 after working in California for the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. When he died in 1995, the federal retirement system’s electronic deposits just kept coming. The son, David Barry Hendrickson, never revealed that his father had died. As a signatory on the account, Hendrickson himself collected the benefits for over ten years until someone at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management finally caught on in 2006.
After learning of the swindle, the federal government brought civil charges against the son under the False Claims Act, which authorizes the recovery of three times the actual damages as well as penalties of $11,000 for every time Hendrickson claimed the ill-gotten funds from the joint bank account. The civil case has now settled, but Hendrickson still faces criminal sentencing, which could include a five year prison stay and a $250,000 fine.
For the full story, go to Salt Lake Tribune.