TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Daniel Brooke (49, Winter Haven) to six months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for theft of government funds. As part of Brooke’s sentence, the court also ordered Brooke to pay $84,139 in restitution and entered a separate forfeiture money judgement against him in the amount of $84,139, the proceeds of the offense.
Brooke had pleaded guilty on August 11, 2021.
According to court documents, Brooke’s mother, R.B., was receiving Social Security benefits. Brooke served as R.B.’s representative payee and received benefit checks issued on her behalf by the Social Security Administration (SSA). R.B. passed away on May 11, 2016. Despite his responsibility to do so as representative payee, Brooke never reported R.B.’s death to SSA, causing SSA to continue issuing benefit checks on behalf of R.B. after her death. From June 2016 through March 2020, Brooke used the funds paid on behalf of R.B. for his own personal expenses. In total, Brooke knowingly and willfully stole approximately $84,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled.