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Vinton man who hid his grandmother's remains in a barrel sentenced in federal court

Credit: Bedford County Sheriff's Office
Credit: Bedford County Sheriff's Office (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - A Vinton man who previously pleaded guilty to stealing funds from the Social Security Administration was sentenced on Wednesday.

Robert Wozniak, 48, previously pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count social security fraud.

He was sentenced to time served and two years of supervised released. In addition, Wozniak was ordered to pay $16,500 in restitution and a $200 special assessment.

Wozniak admitted previously that from July 2015 through April 2016 he stole Social Security Administration funds, namely retirement benefit payments, intended for Wozniak's deceased grandmother, for which he was not entitled, according to evidence presented in court by Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day. The indictment specifically claims that Wozniak intentionally concealed his grandmother's death in order to continue to receive and spend the retirement benefit payments made by the Social Security Admiration to his grandmother. The defendant admitted that he concealed the body of his dead grandmother, Betty

The defendant admitted that he concealed the body of his dead grandmother, Betty Wozniak, in a freezer and later a barrel for months after she died in order to continue receiving her Social Security payments. Investigators discovered the body after Wozniak's landlord became suspicious about the barrel and a hole she noticed in the property Robert Wozniak was renting from her.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, the Bedford County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day will prosecute the case for the United States.