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Laughlin man sentenced for stealing dead mother's social security benefits

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 20:21:11-04

A Laughlin man was sentenced this morning to one year and one day in prison for stealing the retirement benefits of his deceased mother for over 24 years.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 71-year-old Lafayette George Baida II, pleaded guilty last December to one count of theft of government funds and was sentenced Tuesday. Baida is released on bond and must self-report to federal prison by October 10 at noon. He was also ordered to pay $281,135 in restitution.
 
Baida’s mother was receiving Title II Retirement Benefits from the Social Security Administration until her death on March 21, 1989.  Baida did not notify the Social Security Administration of his mother’s death, and they continued to send monthly benefits to her.

Baida stole the payments sent to his mother after her death by withdrawing funds at ATMs and cashing checks that were made payable to her. Baida knew he was not entitled to the benefits. Between March 21, 1989, and Sept. 13, 2013, Baida stole a total of $281,135 from the Social Security Administration.
 
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.