PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- A federal judge called the crime of a 75-year-old Pierce County man “repugnant” as he sentenced him to prison for stealing the social security benefits of his deceased mother.
It wasn’t just the crime against taxpayers that appeared to upset Judge Ronald Leighton, it was also the treatment of the deceased woman whose name is not released in court documents.
Dennis Gorin admits that he placed his mother’s dead body into a car when she died about 10 years ago and drove her to a remote spot on a friend’s property in rural Pierce County. He buried her in a hole that had been dug to test for a septic system.
Gorin didn’t report her death to anyone. He continued to receive his mother’s federal retirement benefits until officers from the Social Security Office of Inspector demanded to talk to his mother in person. That’s when the Social Security Administration learned it had paid almost $100,000 in retirement benefits to a woman who had been dead for a decade.
“I didn’t rationalize,” Gorin told KING 5 about the crime. “I didn’t plan. I just did something that was expedient and kept thinking I’d take care of it the next week and that next week kept going forever.”
However, authorities are concerned about what truly happened to Gorin’s mother. He’s been questioned by Pierce County Sheriff’s homicide detectives.
“She’s gone, obviously, and he’s hiding something,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer. “He doesn’t want us to find the body. We don’t know why. Is there something there that’s going to tell us things aren’t the way he says they are –- or not? We don’t know because we just can’t find her”
Gorin says he simply can’t remember where she’s buried on the vast property where an ice storm felled a number of trees.
"(She) passed away of natural causes," he says.
He’s been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison and will report to serve his sentence at a future date. He’s also been ordered to repay $100,000.