NEW ORLEANS – US Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MICHAEL R. MATHERNE (“MATHERNE”), 62, of Slidell, Louisiana was sentenced on June 7, 2022 to serve six (6) months in federal prison after pleading guilty to an indictment for theft of federal funds on July 22, 2021. Additionally, the Court has ordered MATHERNE pay a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.
According to the indictment, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), an agency of the United States, administered the Survivors Retirement Insurance Benefits (“RSI Program”) program. The purpose of the RSI program is to provide benefits to certain people, including widows and widowers, upon retirement.
Following the death of his wife, MATHERENE never notified the SSA of his wife’s death and continued to deposit the wife’s SSA checks into their joint bank account. From December 2012 to March 2019, MATHERNE received monthly benefits from SSA totaling approximately $75,838, which he deposited into their bank account and used for living expenses.
The matter was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter KD Guice, Jr.