Hudson Valley Man, Pastor Obtained Dead Father’s Benefits For 14 Years
A Hudson Valley man who worked as a pastor and assistant principal admitted he illegally obtained over $200,000 in social security benefits.
In court, Torrence Robinson, 65, of New Windsor admitted he illegally received $214,994 in payments from the Social Security Administration.
Robinson confessed that after his father died in 1999, up until 2013, he maintained access to a joint bank account into which his father’s Social Security retirement benefits continued to be deposited. Robinson would then redirect the funds for his own use.
During this time, Robinson was a pastor at a Bronx church and a New York City assistant principal, earning well over six figures from his positions, officials say.
Robinson also admitted that he knew he had no right to the payments and that he was obligated to inform the Social Security Administration of his father’s death.
“Social Security is a critical but limited resource that millions of Americans depend on in retirement,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a press release. “We will not tolerate abuse of this common good. Relatives of deceased beneficiaries have an obligation to notify the Social Security Administration, and those who choose to pocket the cash will be held to account.”
Robinson agreed to a consent judgment, along with a Stipulation and Order of Settlement, of $330,284, representing the amount of benefits he took plus additional damages under the False Claims Act for conduct occurring after the law was amended in 2009.
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