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Man steals identity to get government benefits

Tuesday - 6/12/2012, 7:09am  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Norfolk man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for using another man's identity to obtain federal government benefits.

Fifty-six-year-old William George Cooper also was ordered in federal court in Norfolk on Monday to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.

Federal prosecutors say that beginning in the early 1980s, Cooper used the identity of another individual named William B. Cooper. Both men were born in Norfolk in 1956, were neighbors and went to school together. William B. Cooper died in 1989.

Court records show William George Cooper used the other man's name, Social Security Number, and date of birth to enlist in the Army and later obtain medical and other benefits. From 1997 until 2010, he received Social Security Administration benefits under both identities.

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