TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 72-year-old Washington state man has been collecting his missing brother’s Social Security benefits for more than two decades, a case cracked with the help of facial recognition software.
According to a complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday, Missouri native Jarvis L. Sayler hasn’t been seen or heard from since 1988. At the time, his adopted brother, Chris Harvey Sayler, of Olalla, Washington, reportedly told investigators that he hadn’t seen Jarvis since a recent argument.
Prosecutors say that since 1998 Chris Sayler has been collecting his brother’s Social Security disability and eventually retirement benefits — more than $400,000 in all. Jarvis Sayler was partially blind.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Washington’s Department of Licensing referred the case to the Social Security inspector general this year after facial recognition software showed that the photo on a 2013 driver’s license issued in Jarvis Sayler’s name matched that of Chris Sayler.
Chris Sayler was arrested Tuesday on charges of fraud and identity theft. His attorney did not immediately return an email seeking comment.