Southwest Ohio man sentenced to prison for Social Security, COVID relief fraud

Jon Devel, aka John Atkins

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Jon Devel, aka John Atkins

Authorities say he impersonated his elderly mother in a recorded call

A 55-year-old Dayton man was sentenced Tuesday to more than a year in federal prison in connection to Social Security and COVID-19 relief money he got in his deceased father’s name.

Jon Devol, aka John Atkins, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining nearly $60,000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced Tuesday.

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“After a recent Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General audit caused the benefit payments to stop in summer 2020, Jon Devol, also known as John Atkins, called the SSA office pretending to be his elderly mother whom he had fraudulently named as the payee,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a release. “According to court documents, Devol impersonated his mother throughout the 30-minute, recorded phone call.

“During the call, Devol provided his parents’ Social Security numbers and when asked if his father was deceased, he said no. When the customer service representative reiterated that Devol’s father was listed as deceased in the SSA database, the defendant said, ‘That’s a mistake,’” the release says.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Devol received the Social Security benefits between 2015 and 2020.

“Throughout those five years, Devol returned questionnaires to the SSA pretending to be his mother and stating the money was being used to care for his father’s needs,” the release says. “In May 2020, Devol also received a $1,200 COVID-19 relief stimulus payment in his dead father’s name.”

He was ordered to repay $58,782 to social security and $1,200 to the IRS for a total of $59,982.

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