A Santa Ana man was charged with fraudulently collecting more than $100,000 of his deceased father's Social Security benefits Tuesday after bones believed to be those of his father were found in the backyard of his former home, officials said.
Larry Thomas Dominguez, 65, faces a felony count of theft by embezzlement, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime over $100,000, the Orange County district attorney's office announced. Dominguez's arraignment was postponed Tuesday.
Prosecutors allege that Dominguez collected more than $1,100 a month between his father's death in May 2005 and January of this year. If convicted, he faces a maximum of four years in prison.
Authorities began investigating Dominguez on Sunday after a human skeleton was discovered during a renovation project at a home he used to own in the 2500 block of North Hesperian Street, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. Though an autopsy did not immediately identify the remains, Bertagna said Tuesday that they were believed to be those of Dominguez's father, Wallace Benjamin Dominguez.