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The son of a 27-year Navy veteran from Boston is accused of cashing $256,000 in annuity payments the federal government continued to pay his hero father 15 years after he died.
The Office of Personnel Management claims it was never notified retired Navy man Charles Winston Sr. passed away Jan. 30, 1992, at age 73 - and yesterday a federal grand jury charged Charles Winston Jr., 61, of Roslindale with taking full advantage.
If convicted of felony theft of government money, Winston could get up to 10 years behind bars.
Winston is not in custody and an arraignment date has not been scheduled. A man who answered to "Mr. Winston" at his address last night told a reporter he didn't know what she was referring to.
Between February 1992 and last September, Winston fraudulently endorsed and cashed approximately 82 U.S. Treasury checks sent to his late father's Roxbury post office box, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan's office and papers filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston.
At the time of his father's death, prosecutors say, Winston was way past the cut-off age of 18 for children eligible to receive a survivor's benefit.
The purloined money was deposited in Winston's Citizens Bank account and withdrawn with an ATM card, prosecutors allege.
Winston even called OPM on several occasions over the years, pretending to be his father, the indictment charges.
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