Feds charge 4 in SWFL with stealing Social Security benefits
Four people from Southwest Florida have been charged with stealing Social Security benefits from deceased beneficiaries.
“Operation Dead Ringer” led to charges against 12 people in Florida. Federal authorities said the 12 collectively stole $700,000 in benefits. If convicted, each faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each count.
Those charged in Southwest Florida:
Jacque Rathburn, 64, of Punta Gorda: Charged with theft of government funds. Between February 2013 and June 2019, Rathburn fraudulently collected approximately $78,164 of her mother’s Social Security benefits following her mother’s death on Feb. 18, 2013.
Madeline Caridad Ifrim, 61, and Marian Ifrim, 53, both of Fort Myers: Charged with theft of government funds. From April 2013 through February 2019, Madeline Cariddad Ifrim and Marian Ifrim fraudulently collected approximately $100,762 in Social Security benefits following the death of a Social Security beneficiary in May 2013.
Robert Lee West Jr., 71, of Fort Myers: Charged with theft of government funds. From November 1995 through February 2019, West fraudulently collected approximately $118,186 in Social Security benefits following the death of a Social Security beneficiary in November 1995.
“As these charges demonstrate, stealing from SSA on behalf of a deceased beneficiary is a federal crime. We work closely with SSA and other government agencies to identify Social Security fraud and stop improper payments,” said Gail S. Ennis, inspector general of Social Security. “I thank the United States Attorney’s Office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Huyler for their continuing support and assistance in bringing these individuals to justice.”