NJ man collected dead mother’s benefits — for 21 years
DUNELLEN — A borough man was indicted Wednesday on charges that he collected his mother's Social Security benefits for 21 years after her death.
Andrzej Cesinski, 63, stole $117,000 before he was caught, the state Attorney General's Office said. He was charged with second-degree theft and third-degree forgery.
Prosecutors said his mother died in 1997 in Poland but the Social Security Administration was never notified and continued to pay into her U.S. bank account.
Officials said Cesinski forged checks made payable to himself.
John F. Grasso, the special agent in charge of the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General in New York, said the indictment "should serve as a warning to those who choose to selfishly defraud the Social Security Trust Fund."
Cesinski faces up to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 if convicted.
Cesinski does not have an attorney and he could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Last month, a 49-year-old woman from Pleasantville was sentenced to two years of probation and a year in county jail after cashing out $140,873 that the state teacher's pension fund had spent eight years paying into her dead mother's bank account.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.