DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Dayton man has been sentenced in U.S. District Court for fraudulently using his deceased father’s name to obtain Social Security and COVID-19 relief funding.
Vipal Patel, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said that 55-year-old Jon Devol, also known as John Atkins, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his crimes.
Devol’s deceased father’s Social Security payments stopped in the summer of 2020 following an audit. He proceeded to call the Social Security Administration and impersonate his elderly mother, who he had fraudulently named as the payee.
According to court documents, Devol impersonated his mother throughout the 30-minute phone call. During which, he provided his parents’ Social Security numbers and when asked about his father, he said he wasn’t dead.
The customer service representative allegedly asked a second time, telling him that the SSA database listed Devol’s father as deceased. According to prosecutors, he told the representative that “that was a mistake.”
In total, from 2015 until the audit in 2020, he received nearly $59,000 in Social Security benefits. In those five years, Devol returned questionnaires to the SSA pretending to be his mother and claiming the money was being used to care for his father’s needs.
In May 2020, Devol also received a $1,200 COVID-19 relief stimulus payment in his dead father’s name. As part of his sentence, he was ordered to repay the $58,782 to Social Security and $1,200 to the IRS.