Missouri man admits 26-year Social Security fraud

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri man has admitted that he stole almost $200,000 by collecting his mother’s Social Security benefits for 26 years after her death.

Reginald Bagley, 62, of Dellwood, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of stealing money belonging to the United States, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern Missouri said in a news release.

Bagley did not report his mother’s death on March 12, 1994, to the Social Security Administration.

Instead, in 1998 he set up a bank account to have her benefits directly deposited. The bank statements were sent to his address, with the name of either Bagley or his mother on them, prosecutors said.

The scheme unraveled when the Social Security Administration tried to contact Bagley’s mother because she was not using her Medicare benefits.

Bagley closed the bank account and received a cashier’s check for the remaining balance on July 24, 2020.

In all, Bagley stole $197,329 in Social Security benefits, prosecutors said.

At his sentencing on March 29, Bagley will be ordered to repay the money. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

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