Klamath Falls man admits to $458,000 Social Security fraud
A man who owned a Klamath Falls mailbox business for decades has admitted to Social Security fraud that lasted nearly 43 years.
George William Doumar, 76, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Medford to a charge of theft of government funds, admitting he stole $458,992 from the Social Security Administration in the name of a New York aunt who died in 1971, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office, plus a $1,200 stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service.
From September 1977 until July of last year, Doumar collected checks in the name of his aunt born in 1905 — whose death in Brooklyn was never reported to the government.
Doumar changed his aunt’s address with the Social Security Administration from Brooklyn to Klamath Falls in the late 1980s, and had the checks sent to his mailbox business, Frontier Parcel & Fax Service.
The Social Security Administration’s Office of Anti-Fraud Programs began investigating the aunt’s account in February of last year, because at 114 years old, the woman appeared to be the second-oldest living person collecting retirement benefits in the country and hadn’t changed her address since 1989.
On July 14, Social Security and U.S. Postal Service Investigation Service investigators questioned Doumar at his home. There, Doumar came clean with investigators, and offered to sell his home to help pay the $460,192 restitution.
The crime of theft of government funds carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, but court documents indicate that federal prosecutors will seek a more lenient sentence.
The crime would typically carry a prison sentence ranging from 27 to 33 months, but citing Doumar’s acceptance of responsibility, the U.S. Attorney’s office said it will seek a sentence with a range of 10 to 16 months in prison, according to a plea agreement signed by Doumar and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Sowray, who prosecuted the case.
“This determination was made based on both his specific situation and his stated willingness to allow the government to recover a portion of the owed restitution through sale of his home,” the agreement with federal prosecutors states.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not object to alternatives to incarceration, such as home detention, and the plea agreement allows Doumar’s federal public defender to seek further leniency.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.