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Bozeman man sentenced to prison for stealing government benefits from elderly relative

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Posted at 3:19 PM, Oct 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-28 17:19:53-04

A Bozeman man who admitted to stealing over $57,000 in government benefits from an elderly relative for whom he was the fiduciary was sentenced to prison.

Ira Kyrk Westbrook, 47, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Westbrook was also ordered to pay $57,329 restitution.

It is alleged in court documents that Westbrook misappropriated $57,329 of an elderly relative’s Social Security Administration and Veterans Administration benefits for approximately 16 months.

The elderly relative, identified as John Doe, suffered a stroke in 2018 and became disabled. Doe was transferred to a rehabilitation and care facility. In February 2020, Doe was declared incompetent and Westbrook was appointed as the Representative Payee. Westbrook agreed to use the Social Security funds for Doe’s needs only.

Following an investigation, it was determined that Westbrook misappropriated his relative’s benefits by spending it on a travel trailer, a 2019 Jeep Wrangler, groceries, restaurants, internet service, and Amazon purchases.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter and investigated by the SSA, VA, Bozeman Police Department, and Montana Adult Protective Services.