GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — A South Carolina woman has been sentenced to prison after receiving nearly $70,000 in Social Security benefits intended for her dead mother.
Forty-eight-year-old Beth Beamer was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to theft of government property.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Beamer admitted to taking the body of her mother, Rena Beamer, from their Mauldin home and throwing it down a roadside embankment into a river near Tryon after she had died in August 2017.
The Social Security Administration said benefits were suspended in May 2020 and were restarted after Beth Beamer called in December 2020, impersonating her mother, to provide an updated mailing address and bank account for payments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Payments continued until May 2021 and totaled $69,909.40.
Beth Beamer will also have to serve three years of court-ordered supervision following her release from prison and was ordered to pay $68,909.40 in restitution.
Beamer also pleaded guilty in November to charges of obstruction of investigation, unauthorized removal of dead body, and neglect of a vulnerable adult and was sentenced to time served of 545 days in Greenville County, according to court records.
In 2021, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy was fired for failing to perform his duties in connection with the missing persons case involving Rena Beamer.
Sheriff Hobart Lewis terminated Deputy Joseph Parrish for conduct unbecoming a deputy and also requested that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to conduct a criminal investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.
Two others were also charged in connection with the case, Madilyn Ballard and Tabitha Shook.
Ballard later pleaded guilty to filing a false police report of a misdemeanor violation while Shook later pleaded guilty to unauthorized removal of dead body and obstruction of investigation, according to court records.
Greenville County Sheriff’s Office warrants stated that Shook assisted with the removal of the victim’s body.