Man Impersonates Dead Mom, Steals $175,000 From Social Security

Cover Image
By WWJ Newsradio 950

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A man who impersonated his late mother's voice has pleaded guilty to illegally collecting $175,000 in Social Security benefits for nearly 16 years. 

Frank Johnson apparently fooled the Social Security Administration with the impersonation in 2013. A similar attempt in 2017 failed, and the "scheme unraveled."

Officials say Johnson forged his mother's signature on checks and also used a debit-style card that was regularly loaded with Social Security payments. The government didn't know his mother had died.

Under a plea deal entered Monday, Johnson could get a year or more in prison -- though people convicted of Social Security fraud in southeastern Michigan rarely get locked up.

Johnson is due back in Detroit federal court on Aug. 19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.