Santa Ana Man Sentenced for Taking Dead Dad's Checks

Homeowners were digging in the backyard when the discovery was made on Sunday

By Jason Kandel
|  Thursday, Aug 1, 2013  |  Updated 7:55 AM PDT
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Human Remains Found in Backyard

Larry T. Dominguez

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Neighbor "Freaked Out" By Discovery of Human Bones

Daniel Zuniga was using a tractor to landscape around his Santa Ana home when he discovered human bones. "I was just freaked out, mainly," he said. That discovery lead to the arrest on Monday of Zuniga’s neighbor, who the family said always struck them as odd. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2013.

Human Remains Examined in Santa Ana Backyard

Authorities were examining the discovery of human remains in a backyard. Jane Yamamoto reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at Noon on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.
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A 66-year-old Santa Ana man was sentenced to six years in state prison for fraudulently collecting his dead father's social security and pension benefits after burying his body in his backyard, prosecutors said.

Larry Thomas Dominguez pleaded guilty to charges including grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, and identity theft, prosecutors said.

In addition to his prison sentence, Dominguez is ordered to pay over $97,000 in restitution, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.

The case broke Jan. 27 when residents in Santa Ana called police, saying they found bones in the backyard of their home.

The bones turned out to be those of Dominguez's father who died in 2005, prosecutors said.

Dominguez buried his father there and collected $96,500 of his father's social security and pension benefits through January 2013 by forging his signature on checks and assuming his identity to open credit cards, prosecutors said.

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