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Son who buried father in backyard, cashed benefits gets 6 years

Son who buried father in backyard, cashed benefits gets 6 years
Booking photo of Larry Thomas Dominguez (Orange County district attorney's office)

An Orange County man was convicted and sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison after he collected Social Security and pension benefits meant for his father, whose body authorities found buried in the yard of a Santa Ana home.

Larry Thomas Dominguez, 66, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, one felony count of forgery, two felony counts of identity theft, and two felony counts of forging an access cardholder's signature, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

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As part of his sentence, prosecutors said Dominguez will also have to pay more than $97,000 in restitution.

On Jan. 27, Santa Ana police were dispatched after residents who had moved into Dominguez's home reported finding bones in their backyard. Investigators determined that the bones were human remains.

Authorities said that Dominguez's father, Wallace Benjamin Dominguez, died May of 2005 and that the son buried his father's body in the yard.

From 2005 to early 2013, prosecutors said, Larry Dominguez illegally collected his father's Social Security benefits, collecting more than $1,100 per month, adding up to more than $92,000.

Dominguez also collected more than $4,500 from his father's pension, as well as forging his father's name on checks and assuming his father's identity to open numerous credit cards, prosecutors said.

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