February 25, 2015 | Number of The Day
Number of years Plainsboro man allegedly collected his dead father’s Social Security benefits before being caught

A 62-year-old Plainsboro man has been indicted on charges that he fraudulently collected $243,000 in Social Security benefits for his father for
29 years
after the father died.

The father had worked a second job using a false name and a second Social Security number he obtained in that name. After his father died, the son continued to collect benefits paid in connection with that false identity, for which no death was reported.

Nicholas Severino Jr.’s father, who died in 1984, was collecting Social Security benefits under the name Frank DiCarlo for working a second job. Severino Sr. set up a joint bank account under that name as well as that of his son before he died. Because there was no record of DiCarlo’s death, a total of $243,844 was deposited in the account for 29 years — an average of $700 a month.

The fraud was discovered when the Social Security Administration attempted to contact DiCarlo at his last known address in Camden, under its Centenarian Project, in which the SSA routinely reaches out to those who would have reached the age of 100 to verify they are still living. Benefits were suspended when DiCarlo could not be found but Severino’s address was on the joint bank account.