TACOMA — A 74-year-old man was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday for using his missing brother’s identity to collect up to $500,000 in Social Security disability payments, but officials still don’t know what happened to the brother, last seen in 1988.
Chris Harvey Sayler pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in June to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft based on an investigation that started in 2013 when state Department of Licensing facial recognition software flagged ID photos seemingly of the same person but with two different names: Chris Sayler and Jarvis Sayler, the Kitsap Sun reported.
Chris Sayler was accused of claiming his disabled brother’s benefits starting as early as 1998. The minimum he took was $338,000, but prosecutors allege the true figure could be as much as $500,000.
In court on Thursday, Sayler told the judge, “I’m sorry that I caused all this problem. I shouldn’t have done it.”
U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan said the 25-month sentence would have likely been longer but for Chris Sayler’s advanced age, poor health and military service, prosecutors said.