Man sentenced to prison for trying to steal dead man's retiremen - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Man sentenced to prison for trying to steal dead man's retirement fund

Dwayne Ellis Baptiste (Source: Metro Jail) Dwayne Ellis Baptiste (Source: Metro Jail)
(WAFF) -

A Texas man will spend six years in prison after posing as the beneficiary of a deceased Lockheed Martin employee in Huntsville. 

A federal judge sentenced Dwayne Ellis Baptiste to six years and three months for his scheme to steal more than $650,000 from a retirement account that didn't belong to him.

Baptiste pleaded guilty in February to four counts of wire fraud, one county mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

“The actions taken by Baptiste to steal from the dead are unconscionable acts of greed,” said FBI Special Agent David Archey.

Baptiste lived in Huntsville in 2011 when he became acquainted with Ralph and Ronald Swinehart.

Ronald Swinehart was a retired Lockheed Martin employee. Ralph was his son, and the agent in charge of his father's retirement funds.

Ronald and Ralph both died in October 2011. The cause of their deaths was not immediately available. 

The FBI says Baptiste opened two commercial accounts later that year under the name of "Swinehart Investment Solutions". 

Baptiste was reportedly able to alter the beneficiary designation, using Ronald Swinehart's social security information, to gain access to the retirement funds.

The document used to access the funds was allegedly a forged spousal consent form with a fake signature from Ronald Swinehart's deceased wife. 

“Baptiste went to great lengths to exploit the deaths of two people so he could steal a man’s life-long savings,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Posey. “In calculated steps, he formed a company, faked a power of attorney, created bank accounts and used stolen identifying information and a forged signature to carry out his scheme.”

Baptiste reportedly withdrew money from December, 2011 to February, 2012. 

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