DETROIT (AP) – A Detroit-area man has been sentenced to six months in prison for stealing nearly $195,000 in Social Security payments after his mother died in 2003.
The benefits should have been cut off after Emmett Long’s mother died. He claims he informed the government, but the money regularly went into a joint bank account until November 2015.
The 52-year-old Long told a judge Thursday that he takes “full responsibility.”
Federal Judge Gershwin Drain says he struggled with the sentence because Long had a strong record of community service and letters of support from many people.
But Drain says a prison sentence is necessary to deter others from stealing from the government. He says probation would be seen as a “slap on the wrist.”