Man Guilty of Social Security Fraud, Kept Mom's Corpse in Freezer

A man convicted of keeping his dead mother in a freezer for years pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally collecting thousands of dollars of her Social Security benefits after her death.

Philip Schuth of rural La Crosse defrauded the Social Security Administration of $35,690, U.S. Attorney Stephen Sinnott said.

The charge of misusing a Social Security number carries a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 19.

Schuth, 53, is serving a seven-year sentence in state prison after being convicted of hiding a corpse and other charges.

After a standoff with police last April, officers found his mother's body in a basement freezer.

Schuth said his mother died of natural causes in 2000, but he concealed her body because he was afraid people would think he killed her, Sinnott said.