FREEHOLD – A Neptune Township man is facing theft charges following an investigation that revealed he stole $23,028.25 in Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income Benefits that were attributed for his deceased wife, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Richard Hayes, 59, of Neptune Township, was charged on October 16, 2020 with third degree Theft of Movable Property following an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Hayes was charged and released on a summons.

In May 2020, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration to alert that from December 2015 through June 2019, Hayes converted approximately $23, 028.25 in benefits that were for his deceased wife, for his personal use.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Hayes was making ATM withdrawals and check card purchases from his wife’s account by using her debit card. Purchases and withdrawals were made on a regular and routine basis around the time of each month’s anticipated automatic deposit of the benefits and supplemental Social Security income.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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