Caretaker Sentenced for Collecting Dead Man’s Social Security for 16 Years

Elizabeth Harrington | August 5, 2013 | 11:20am EDT
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This Feb. 2005 file photo shows trays of printed social security checks, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)

( – An Oregon woman who ran an adult foster home will serve 57 months in prison for concealing the death of a man in her care so she could collect more than $200,000 of his Social Security benefits.

The woman is connected to three other deaths of elderly patients, and buried the body of one man to prevent welfare workers from finding out she was living in “squalid conditions” with a pet monkey.

Carel June Cody, 47, collected $203,528 in retirement payments from the man, John Arnold, in his mid-70s, who died sometime in 1996 under her care.  Cody was not charged with his death, though “authorities suspect he died of abuse or neglect.”

Three other men died under Cody’s care in a state-certified adult foster home, but charges were never filed.  Instead, Cody will serve nearly five years in prison for bank fraud, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft.

Cody buried Arnold’s body in a hole and covered it with bags of lime.  His remains were never recovered.

“Cody told authorities that she had concealed Arnold’s death to prevent state welfare workers from discovering that she was living in squalid conditions with a pet monkey, according to court records,” the Social Security Administration said.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken said the case “defies explanation.”

The woman collected Arnold’s benefits by forging his name on checks for 16 years.

“I find this behavior absolutely reprehensible,” Aiken said when sentencing Cody last week.  Cody had pleaded guilty to the charges in May.

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