A Hinesville man was sentenced Thursday to serve four years in federal prison after he used Middle Georgia bank accounts and post office boxes to steal money from his brother’s widow.
Master Dalas Brisco, also known as Paula D. Ike, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Macon by Judge C. Ashley Royal after an earlier guilty plea to two counts of aggravated identity theft, according to a statement from prosecutors.
Brisco’s plea agreement said he tried to steal $36,320.90 through U.S. Postal Service change-of-address forms and even a forged signature of a judge.
Some of the money came from an estate of Brisco’s own parents, which was controlled by his former sister-in-law. Brisco, 57, cleaned out the account using the counterfeit document in 2008, which began the thefts described in the plea agreement, officials said.
Soon, the widow missed a Social Security check.
According to the plea agreement: Brisco first visited the Social Security office in Warner Robins with a forged power of attorney for the widow.
When that didn’t work, Brisco returned several days later with a counterfeit letter supposedly from a physician, which claimed the widow suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The Social Security Administration canceled her direct deposit and mailed a check to Brisco, who cashed it at a BB&T branch in Warner Robins.
The widow found out other mail was getting diverted to Brisco’s post office boxes in East Dublin and Perry. In February 2009, the widow discovered more than $10,000 had been taken from her personal account and was told it was sent to a BB&T branch in Warner Robins. Brisco tried to remove the money, but BB&T had already detected the fraud.
The plea agreement said Brisco opened the BB&T account using the forged power of attorney he had tried giving to the Social Security office in Warner Robins.
When the widow discovered Brisco had gotten into her bank account, she created a new account. Brisco also got into that one and sent a $14,500 check from that one as well.
The plea agreement said Brisco had tried to steal more than $36,000, but he actually stole $11,695.94.