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Salt Lake man suspected of cashing dead mom's disability checks

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 01:38 a.m. HST, Jan 23, 2014

A Salt Lake man was arrested Wednesday morning by the FBI for allegedly stealing $223,925 in state disability benefits for his mother after she died in 2000.

Steven Splater, 58, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Jan. 16 for mail fraud.

A three-count federal indictment said that from March 2000 through July 2011 Splater defrauded the state out of $223,925 in disability payments that were intended for the benefit of his mother, Edith Splater, who had died. He allegedly falsely asserted to the state that she was still alive in order to continue receiving these benefits.

Edith Splater died on March 3, 2003, the indictment said. However, the defendant continued to receive disability payments until July 5, 2011.

The investigation was conducted primarily by the investigators of the state's Attorney General's office.

Splater is expected make his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren. 

The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years imprisonment per count.

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cojef wrote:
A parasite for sure, using his dead mother's disability benefits for over 11 years at taxpayers expense. Auwe.
on January 22,2014 | 09:57AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This is one where twenty years is close to twenty years as the Federal sentencing actually matches the actual time served. Hawaii, on the other hand, will typically require only two to seven years of the twenty. Property crimes are seen as petty in our state and, thus, the lower penalties. Finally, a penalty that matches the crime.
on January 22,2014 | 11:01AM
nitpikker wrote:
this type of fraud is too easy to commit. they should use fingerprints or retinal scans to discourage it. forging is too easy. and auto-deposit....ridiculous.
on January 22,2014 | 11:15AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Think about it.This has been going on for thousands of years. It's too tempting to keep the payments coming in, even after the beneficiary is gone.
on January 22,2014 | 11:57AM
LMO wrote:
The article says she died in 2000, and again in 2003. As usual, great editing SA!
on January 23,2014 | 01:52AM
lokela wrote:
That's the State for you. They need to curb these fraud cases by having all coroners submit a death claim to the State. If the State has a program that can sort through a database with that death claim of all recipients of State benefits and throw up a red flag if it finds that person. Then discontinue their benefits. I think that would help.
on January 23,2014 | 05:36AM
cojef wrote:
There certainly must have a data base at the coroner's office where all deaths are recorded and a system established whereby other city/state agencies can query if there is a need. Absent a system contribute to the problem as cited in the article. Agencies have a penchant of protecting their domain and this adds or contribute to the problem of duplicate payments and/or ineligibles receiving monies.
on January 23,2014 | 10:16AM
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