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An 89-year-old Mesa resident is accused of collecting nearly $300,000 in Social Security benefits using the identity of his brother since his death in 1989.

Frank Becht, 89, faces charges of forgery and fraud schemes after Arizona Department of Transportation detectives discovered he had been using the name, date of birth and Social Security number of his brother for 28 years, ADOT said in a news release Tuesday.

ADOT investigators discovered the alleged fraud using facial-recognition technology, the release said. 

The release said Becht applied for an Arizona identification card under his brother’s name in September 2009 at a Mesa Motor Vehicle Division office. In April 2010, he applied for a driver’s license using his own name.

He updated each of the IDs in the last couple of years, the ADOT release said. 

ADOT’s facial-recognition system detected Becht’s photo on his profile and a profile under the identity of his deceased brother, Kenneth Becht, later confirming both of the photos were of Becht, the release said. 

The Social Security Administration did not know Becht’s brother had died 28 years ago and had been sending Kenneth Becht’s Social Security benefits to his brother, who had taken advantage of his brother’s profile, the ADOT release said.

A further investigation also found that Frank Becht had used his brother’s identity on credit cards and state-issued IDs in Maryland, Virginia and Nevada, the release said. 

Becht was arrested but not booked, officials said. The case has been referred to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the ADOT release said.


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