Xenia man charged with stealing more than $370K in social security benefits

XENIA — A 51-year-old Xenia man was arrested over the weekend after he was charged with stealing more than $370,000 in Social Security disability benefits and making false statements about stealing from a Xenia church, prosecutors said.

Charles E. Severt Jr. was indicted on five charges earlier this month and arrested over the weekend.

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“According to court documents, in connection with his application for disability benefits, Severt allegedly stated that he had not worked since 2010 as the result of a shooting,” the U.S. Department of Justice said. “In reality, it is alleged Severt had been working since at least 2014 in the tree trimming business.”

Severt also told investigators under oath that his license as an investment advisor was suspended for not reporting income when he was flipping houses, however court documents said Severt actually was banned for life by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for stealing $20,000 from a church in Xenia.

The justice department said fraudulently obtaining social security benefits is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and making false statements to the federal government, if convicted, could result in up to five years in prison.