57-year-old Volusia man guilty of stealing missing father’s Social Security benefits

A 57-year-old man from Volusia County was found guilty of multiple counts of fraud and identity theft after he stole Social Security benefits from a bank account that belonged to his missing father.

Robert Butzlaff was found guilty by a federal jury of four counts of fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device and aggravated identity theft on Thursday, September 22, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Butzlaff’s father was reported missing in October 2014 and has never been located. Since his disappearance was never reported to the Social Security Administration, he continued to receive payments in his name.

The payments were continually deposited into a bank account that the father held with Butzlaff.

Following his father’s disappearance, Butzlaff created a new bank account using his father’s personal information and began redirecting the Social Security benefit payments to the new account.

Despite being in his father’s name, Butzlaff obtained debit cards and used the funds for himself.

Butzlaff faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each of the fraud charges, as well as a consecutive 2-year mandatory minimum sentence on the identity theft charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7, 2022, according to court records.

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