Prosecutors: Retired doctor stole disabled son’s benefits
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a retired plastic surgeon stole more than $80,000 in social security benefits from his severely disabled son.
Richard McShane faces one count of theft of government funds and four counts of wire fraud. The 78-year-old Chatham resident was arrested Wednesday and is due to make his initial court appearance later in the day.
Prosecutors say McShane’s son suffered severe brain injury after a 2004 car accident that killed his mother, McShane’s wife. The child also suffered other permanent and life-threatening injuries, including partial paralysis in his upper and lower extremities.
Between 2005 and 2012, prosecutors say McShane falsely represented to the Social Security Administration that his son lived with him in the United States. Officials say the child actually lived with his maternal grandparents in Ukraine, and they provided for the boy’s basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
During that time period, the Social Security Administration sent McShane monthly payments between $606 and $1,069. The funds were wired by the Social Security Administration to a New Jersey bank account McShane controlled.
The payments were supposed to be used for the care of McShane’s son. But prosecutors say the grandparents have received little or no financial assistance from McShane since at least 2005.
McShane faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts.