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Man caught in social security scam set up 70 years ago by his deceased father

By Mason White 11:07 AM January 11, 2016
Nicholas Severino Jr. 

By: Mahesh Sarin
A law finally caught up with a family after 70 years of defrauding the government.

A man of Trenton, New Jersey, was sentenced to prison for a
seven-decade-long Social Security benefits scheme that was concocted by his father, who died in 1984.

63-year-old Nicholas Severino Jr., of Paulsboro, was sentenced to three years in prison and he was ordered to pay nearly $243,000 in restitution.

Severino pleaded guilty to second-degree theft of property, lost, mislaid or delivered under mistake.

Officials said that the plan began in 1945, when Severino’s father received a Social Security number under the fictitious name of Frank DiCarlo.

The father and son had a joint bank account, where Social Security checks were deposited. When the elder Severino died, Social Security continued to pay the son because there was no record of his death.

The scam unraveled when the Social Security Administration came looking for DiCarlo at his last known address in Camden, when he had reached the age of 100.

The bank account led investigators to his son, and he was arrested.

“Like his father before him, Severino thought he could cheat the system, but we’re putting such cheats on notice that their selfish criminal conduct will land them in prison,” said John Hoffman, acting state attorney general.