A woman from Florida fraudulently drew from her father’s Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits and used them for her personal benefit for two years. The thing is, her father has been dead for the same period of time, but she kept the vital information from the government and their own relatives.
The elderly father died approximately sometime in November 2011 at his Lake County residence. His daughter Susan Marie Kort, 61, discovered the body and buried him in the backyard of her Eustis home. Kort kept her father’s death a secret and never reported it to the authorities. Over the next two years, she used forged checks and a power of attorney for her father’s financial affairs to withdraw and spend the SSA benefit payments that were being directly deposited to his bank account. The SSA only suspended the payment of benefits in December 2013 when they were unable to contact Kort’s father.
Relatives have also started inquiring about the well-being of the father which led to a law enforcement investigation in late 2016. Kort admitted when confronted by the investigators to hiding her father’s remains and in defrauding the SSA by illegally taking his benefit payments. Kort showed investigator’s to her father’s grave at her residence. Subsequent DNA testing confirmed the identity of the remains as Kort’s father.
Kort pleaded guilty to an indictment charging her with theft of government funds. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. She will also be required to pay $35,577.60 in restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA). A date for the sentence has yet to be set.
It is not clear whether the family has made arrangements for a proper burial for the father after the truth has been discovered about what happened to him and what the daughter did.