Deceased Man Kept on Ice for Social Security Benefits


It’s amazing and sometimes disgusting what a person will do for money. Today’s Fraud of the Day from The Times-Picayune focuses on the case of a 45-year-old woman who admitted to helping stuff the remains of her roommate’s dead father into an ice chest and stealing more than $33,000 of his Social Security benefits. She has been sentenced to three years in prison for the unlawful disposal of human remains and mutilating or disinterring human remains and faces up to 10 years for the theft of the man’s Social Security benefits.

The article reports that the woman and her roommate were arrested between one and two years after the 83-year old father died of heart disease. Authorities said the two women did not report his death and instead shoved the man into a 160-quart ice cooler kept inside the apartment where they resided. Unfortunately, the body was too big to fit, so they reportedly sliced off the hands and put them in a box that was stored in a freezer. (Who thinks this stuff up?)

Someone in the neighborhood noticed that it had been awhile since the elderly man had been seen. After air conditioning repair workers were vehemently denied entrance into the residence, a call was made to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Several hours after deputies visited the one-story apartment, the daughter allegedly confessed the location of her father’s body, by then, a mummified skeleton.

Investigators believe the women electronically transferred the father’s Social Security funds to the daughter’s bank account and paid for their living expenses with more than $33,000. (Definitely not spent on a cleaning service.).

So, what happened to the daughter? She is still awaiting her trial for unlawful mutilation and unlawful disposal of human remains and theft. The District Attorney stated that he hoped prison would help to get these two fraudsters headed in the right direction. Prison is no picnic. Better put that cooler in storage.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Sentenced for Helping Roommate Stuff Dad’s Corpse in Cooler in St. Tammany Parish,” written by Heather Nolan and published in The Times-Picayune on December 3, 2012.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.