A 67-year-old Las Vegas man has been sentenced to three months in prison, three months home detention and five years of probation for collecting his mother’s PERSI retirement benefits for nearly three years after she’d died. Vernon Geier, who pleaded guilty to interstate theft from the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, a federal crime, must pay back all the $65,000 in stolen funds; part of it already has been recovered. PERSI was electronically depositing the money into Geier’s mother’s bank account in Las Vegas; when she died in January of 2002, he never notified them, and the money kept coming until November 2004 when PERSI learned from other sources of her death. U.S. Attorney Tom Moss commended the FBI for going after the case, saying, “In these days it is vitally important for the public to be assured that fraud committed against retirement and investment accounts is going to be aggressively pursued through the criminal justice system.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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