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Man admits stealing his dead mother’s military pension for 12 years

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

A New Jersey man admitted he stole more than $200,000 in survivor’s pension benefits from the military by failing to inform the Department of Veteran Affairs that his mother died in 2006, authorities said.

Melvin Greenspan, 72, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conversion of government funds and faces up to 10 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey said in a statement.

Greenspan’s mother received the benefits because of his father’s military service. Only surviving spouses of military members are entitled to the pension.

Greenspan, however, had access to his mother’s Chase bank account and used the benefits checks automatically deposited in it from the time of her death in September 2006 until June 2018, prosecutors said.

His mother had been getting her late husband’s pension since September 1971.

Greenspan, of the Perrineville section of Millstone in Monmouth County, pocketed $201,166.13 in Veterans Affairs benefits to which he knew he was not entitled, officials said.

The Veterans Affairs pension program provides support for surviving spouses of veterans who had 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war, and whose discharge from active duty was under conditions other than dishonorable, according to court papers.

Greenspan is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22.


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