Man Who Cashed Dead Mother's Pension Checks Sentenced to Jail Time

April 21, 2005 ( - The man accused of fraudulently cashing his dead mother's pension checks has been sentenced to a prison term, which he is expected to start in July.

Phillip Hyde, 63, who has Master’s degrees from both Harvard and New York University, cashed his dead mother’s pension checks for 18 years and then, when the Teachers’ Pension Fund of Chicago inquired about her status, claimed she was in a coma.

Over the 18 years, Hyde cashed 220 checks from the pension fund, which amounted to $317,678, according to the Boston Globe. His scheme started to come apart four years ago, when, after checking Social Security records, the pension fund called Hyde’s home.

To avoid being caught, Hyde stated that she was in a coma. In an attempt to cover up the truth, he then took out a death notice in local newspaper, 18 years after his mother passed away.

In the ruling, he was ordered to pay the money back and spend a year plus one day in prison.