OCALA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida woman pleaded guilty to stealing Social Security benefits meant for her deceased father, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg said Friday that Dawn Rae Dempsey, 52, of Beverly Hills, Florida, admitted to stealing federal funds for over five years.
According to the DOJ, Dempsey’s father died in November 2015, but the defendant never told Security Administration (SSA) Retirement and Survivors Insurance (RSI) about his passing.
From Dec. 3, 2015, to Feb. 3, 2021, Dempsey would collect payments made to her father’s account and use it for her own benefit. In total, the SSA deposited $112,611 into her father’s account across 63 payments.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Dempsey also collected $167,000 from her father’s Coast Guard retirement benefits. By March 2021, the account was overdrawn.
The DOJ said Dempsey admitted to stealing the money after being confronted by investigators.
Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2023. She could face 10 years in federal prison for theft of government funds.