Man collects late father’s benefits for 17 years

A Renton man who collected his late father’s Social Security checks for nearly two decades has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Patrick Derrick admitted that he collected the benefits, totaling more than $219,000, for 17 years after his father died. The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle says the 67-year-old forged his father’s name on bank documents to continue receiving the monthly checks.

Social Security investigators learned of the father’s death last year and confronted Derrick, but he initially denied taking the money. He eventually confessed, saying he used it to help pay his daughter’s college tuition and to make ends meet between his 21-year military career and his 17-year career with Boeing.

He was sentenced Thursday. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez also ordered him to repay the money.