SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Melody Jean Styszko, 54, now of Eldridge, Missouri, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Utah to 60 months of probation for continuing to accept and spend $104,314 dollars in Social Security Retirement Insurance payments.
The payments, issued from the United States Social Security Administration, were meant for her deceased father, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
According to sentencing documents filed by federal prosecutors, Styszko maintained a joint checking account with her late father before his death. After her father died, Styszko “continued to accept her father’s Social Security Retirement Insurance benefits as they were deposited into the same joint account.”
The financial fraud occurred for more than ten years before Styszko was brought to justice.
Over the course of those years, Styszko ultimately spent over $104,314 of those benefits on herself, officials say.
Styszko spent the benefits even though she admitted that “based on the facts known to [her], [she] was conscious and aware of the high probability that [she] was not entitled to this money.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys from the District of Utah and was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.