An elderly Etna man is facing fraud charges after collecting social security benefits under his name and his long-dead brother's name.

What Were the Charges?

The US Attorney's Office, District of Maine reports Napolean Gonzalez, 86, of Etna was found guilty of identity theft, passport fraud, Social Security fraud, and mail fraud.

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How Far Back Does the Deception Go?

This bizarre story started in 1939, when Napolean's brother, Guillermo Gonzalez, died as an infant. Fast forward roughly 25 years, and Napoleon took on the identity of his dead brother in the mid-1960s, without giving up his own identity. Officials say Napoleon obtained multiple passports bearing his brother's name, with the most recent passport acquired in 2017. He used that passport to travel to Canada in July 2018. In recorded statements, Napoleon claimed that he took on his deceased brother's identity at the direction of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations and that he was legally allowed to use both identities.

When Did Authorities Catch On?

In 1981, Gonzalez applied for a Social Security Number in his deceased brother's name and filed applications for Social Security retirement benefits in his own name in 1999 and in his brother's name in 2001. He collected those benefits, under both names, until March 2020, when investigators requested the suspension of benefits being paid to Guillermo Gonzalez, pending an investigation. Napoleon wrote a letter to the Social Security Administration, signing Guillermo's name, and asked for an explanation for the suspension. He claimed that, because of the pandemic, he was locked in his apartment, unable to drive, and dependent on his neighbors to get his food and other supplies.

Gonzalez will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. He faces up to five years in prison for the Social Security fraud charges, up to 10 years for the passport fraud charges, up to 15 years for the identity theft charges, and up to 20 years for mail fraud. He also faces up to $250,000 in fines and up to three years of supervised release on all charges.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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