MEDFORD, OR (KPTV) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Oregon announced on Monday that a man pleaded guilty to cashing $458,000 worth of social security checks issued in the name of his deceased aunt.
George Doumar, 74, of Klamath Falls pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds.
According to court documents, in February 2020, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Anti-Fraud Programs identified a 114-year-old who appeared to be the second-oldest living person in the U.S. receiving Social Security retirement benefits. The last known update to the recipient’s SSA benefit record was in July 1989, when the recipient’s address was updated to Frontier Parcel & Fax Service on South 6th Street in Klamath Falls.
In March 2020, an investigator with SSA-OIG interviewed two of the benefit recipient’s nieces. Both nieces claimed that their aunt died in the 1960s or 1970s and recalled attending her funeral in Brooklyn, New York, where she had reportedly lived her entire life. According to one niece, their aunt did not have any children and was not married. She recalled that Doumar was named the sole beneficiary of her aunt’s insurance payout.
Investigators discovered that Doumar himself was an active Social Security beneficiary and received his checks at the same address on South 6th Street. Investigators determined that Doumar had added his aunt to he and his wife’s shared checking account in 1989. His aunt’s Social Security checks were often bundled in deposits with other checks made payable to Doumar.
Investigators obtained bank surveillance footage from February 2020 that showed a man, who appeared to match Doumar’s physical description, depositing one of his aunt’s retirement checks.
Doumar faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation. He will be sentenced on August 3. As part of the plea agreement, Doumar has agreed to pay $458,992 restitution to the SSA and $1,200 to the IRS.