The U.S. attorney's office said Thomas Dale Sass, 50, of Monticello had been sentenced to 57 months in prison for stealing disability benefits from his former sister-in-law. He was ordered to make restitutions of $297,516.
A news release said Sass pleaded guilty. In 1997, he became guardian of his former sister-in-law after she was injured in a car accident that left her in a coma for a year and killed her son. She began receiving monthly federal disability payments and also private insurance payments. The U.S. attorney said Sass used the money for his own benefit, even failing to pay caretakers at time. He forged his brother's name on Social Security checks, the release said.