From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge sentenced an Alabama man Monday for devising a scheme to defraud Jefferson County’s retirement plan, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Felix A. Rivera-Esparra.
U.S. District Court Judge Anna M. Manasco sentenced Gary Dean Gibbs Jr., 52, to one year and one day for wire fraud. Gibbs was also ordered to pay $132,646.12 restitution to the General Retirement System for Employees of Jefferson County. Gibbs pleaded guilty to the charges in May.
“Gibbs’ fraudulent scheme took money away from the Jefferson County retirement system intended for those who have saved for their later years,” Rivera said. “The sentence handed down today holds him accountable for his actions and allows for restitution to the victims. I want to express my thanks to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership and assistance in this investigation.”
According to the plea agreement, Gibbs’ father was a former employee of Jefferson County and receiving benefits from The General Retirement System for Employees of Jefferson County (GRS). GRS is a retirement plan that provides benefits to retired and disabled employees of Jefferson County.
Beginning in September 2017 and continuing until February 2022, Gibbs concealed his father’s death from GRS and collected approximately $132,646.12 from GRS, to which he was not entitled. Gibbs used his father’s personal identifiers and forged his father’s signature on documents submitted to GRS to further his scheme. Additionally, Gibbs assumed his father’s identity during telephone calls with GRS employees.
“The defendant’s theft of money from the GRS was detrimental to the hard-working employees and retirees of Jefferson County, who contributed for years to the retirement plan, and was appropriately punished by time in federal prison,” Escalona said. “The United States Attorney’s Office appreciates the work of the FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the cooperation of the GRS during the investigation and prosecution of this matter.”
The FBI investigated the case along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney George Martin prosecuted the case.