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Wasilla Man Owes $58,000 After Social Security Fraud Conviction

Published On: Feb 10 2014 05:04:00 PM AKST
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A Wasilla man has been sentenced to five years probation and ordered to repay nearly $58,000 after frequently collecting his father’s social security payments.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline sentenced William S. Stemmons, 31, for committing Social Security fraud.

On November 20 Stemmons pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud after he was found to have collected social security payments in his father’s name between 2006 and 2010 while his father lived outside the country and had not applied for the payments.

“His father was living in Japan, and was recently retired, but he wasn’t applying for (his benefit) at the time” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bradley.

“One of the issues we have, surprisingly enough in these cases, is people take the identity of one of their loved ones” due to easy access to their identity information, Bradley said.

Stemmons’ father eventually applied for social security, triggering the investigation.

Bradley said Stemmons lived in several states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Alaska. His case was prosecuted in Colorado and ended with his pleading guilty in Alaska.

Stemmons had worked in law enforcement in New Mexico, and was most recently working as a military contractor in security at JBER during the period that he was accused of fraud.

In sentencing, Judge Besitline ordered Stemmons to serve four months of house arrest and repay $57,991.40 in stolen funds.