Melvin Butzlaff was 87 and had dementia when he was reported missing by his daughter in 2014. He was last known to be with living with his son Robert Butzlaff. However, when officers interviewed Robert Butzlaff, he said his father was under the care of a woman named “Beverly A” and that they both left to go on a road trip to Greenville, South Carolina. No one has heard from Melvin or Beverly A since. What’s a son to do? Well, many would look for their missing parent. But Robert, instead, collected his dad’s social security.
Melvin Butzlaff’s disappearance was not reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and SSA continued to make benefit payments on his behalf. At the time of his disappearance, Melvin’s benefits were being deposited into an account held jointly with his son, Robert. Following his dad’s trip/disappearance with a mysterious woman, Robert opened a new bank account using his father’s personally identifiable information and redirected his father’s SSA benefits to the new account. The new account was solely in his father’s name. But Robert obtained, and used, two debit cards issued in the name of his father to withdraw the funds being deposited by SSA. Robert did not use these stolen SSA funds to find his dad, but rather for his own personal expenses. Not shocker here.
In total, Robert stole $57,296 in Social Security benefits meant for his father. We still don’t know what happened to dad or Beverly A for that matter. Seven years later, the Ormond Beach police have that Melvin Butzlaff is still missing and the investigation into his disappearance is still active. However, we do know where Robert is. On February 2, 2023, Robert was sentenced to 70 months in prison for Social Security fraud and identity theft.
Shout out to the Social Security Department in this investigation.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Son of Missing Ormond Beach Senior Sent To Prison For Stealing Social Security Benefits” published by My News Orlando on February 2, 2023
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — A 57-year-old Volusia County man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison Thursday for stealing $57,296 in Social Security benefits from his father, who has been missing since November of 2014.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Robert Butzlaff was convicted of four counts of fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device and aggravated identity theft in September, after pocketing his father’s Social Security benefits when he went missing.