NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk man has pleaded guilty to theft of government property after receiving more than $90,000 in Social Security benefits meant for his mother, who had died, according to David B. Fein, United States attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Paul Wiegman, 54, lived with this mother and did not notify authorities when she died at home in December 2002, Fein said. Her Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefit and Widow's Benefit payments continued to be deposited into her bank account until April 2010, a total of $90,188, which Wiegman spent. He lied to federal authorities, telling them that his mother was still alive, unable to speak and living with a friend, Fein said.
Wiegman pleaded guilty Friday to one count of theft of government property before Judge Stefan R. Underhill in U.S. District Court of Connecticut in Bridgeport, Fein said. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 3, and he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and an order of restitution.
The case is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy.