PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Klamath Falls man admitted he cashed his aunt’s Social Security checks for more than 40 years, a crime that came to light after the agency’s Anti-Fraud program discovered the woman would have been 114 years old.
The investigation began in February 2020 when the agency looked into the woman who would have been the second-oldest living person in the US. The last time her Social Security benefit record was updated was in 1989.
The woman had never married and had no children, but investigators spoke with 2 nieces. They said she died in Brooklyn, NY in the 1960s or 1970s.
That led investigators to George Doumar, who is now 74 and is also collecting Social Security benefits. His aunt’s checks were coming to his address.
Eventually, the Anti-Fraud investigators got her death certificate — from March 7, 1971.
Agents talked with Doumar at his Klamath Falls home on July 14, 2020. When they asked about his aunt, “Doumar sighed, slumped his head, and stated, ‘That’s a long story…what happened was, well she’s passed and yes, I’ve been collecting her Social Security,'” officials said.
All told, Doumar cashed more than $458,000 worth of Social Security checks sent to his late aunt over the years.
He pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds and now faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus 3 year of supervised probation. He also agreed to repay $458,992 to the Social Security Administration and another $1200 to the IRS.
He will be sentenced August 3.