Cincinnati pleads guilty of using identity of deceased friend to obtain Social Security benefits


CINCINNATI – Frank Morris, 73, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to using the identity of a deceased childhood friend to obtain more than $120,000 in Social Security and SNAP food stamp benefits. Morris also compiled a criminal record in the victim’s name over the 50-year span in which Morris used the identity. 


Specifically, Morris pleaded guilty to theft of public money (punishable by up to 10 years in prison) and false representation of a Social Security number (punishable by up to five years in prison).


According to court documents, Morris assumed the identity of an individual after the individual’s death in 1966. Since at least 1973 and continuing up to present, Morris was repeatedly arrested under the victim’s identity.

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In 2004, Morris began using the victim’s identity to collect Supplemental Security Income disability payments. From 2004 until 2020, Morris received more than $123,000 in disability payments.


In 2018, Morris applied for SNAP food stamp benefits using the victim’s identity and received approximately $1,600 in benefits.


The Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, United States Secret Service, USDA Office of Inspector General and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles cooperatively investigated this case.


Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the plea entered into before Senior U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case.

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