DETROIT (AP) – An 80-year-old Detroit man has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for spending $265,000 in Social Security benefits that mistakenly went into his mother’s bank account long after her death in 1989.
Otis Wilder apologized but also told a judge Tuesday that he wasn’t sure how he got “in this mess.” He said he believed the money was an inheritance, not his late mother’s Social Security.
But federal Judge Victoria Roberts didn’t buy it. She noted that Wilder used his mother’s debit card. The judge said he still hasn’t taken responsibility.
It took 24 years, until 2014, for the government to catch up to Wilder. A 366-day sentence qualifies him for good behavior credits. He could be released in less than a year.