Nadine Kirk

Bonanza man charged in bizarre benefit theft case

A Bonanza man who allegedly lived on his missing 100-year-old mother's Social Security and pension benefits for years made his initial appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Theodore Martin "Ted" Kirk, 62, appeared in federal court on a felony charge of theft of government funds, alleging he lived on Social Security benefits belonging to his mother, Georgia "Nadine" Kirk, between 2010 and 2015.

Investigators say Ted Kirk and his mother lived together on a piece of property east of Klamath Falls near the town of Bonanza, but according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, she has not been seen since at least June 2015. 

Court documents allege that Social Security paid $81,360 into a joint bank account belonging to Nadine and Ted Kirk over the five-year period. 

Ted Kirk was released on his own recognizance Thursday on conditions including regular contact with the court as to his whereabouts, finding and maintaining full-time employment, that he not open any new financial accounts or lines of credit without approval and that he provide financial documentation as requested.

In July 2015, Ted Kirk allegedly told Special Agent Dale Boring with the Social Security Departments office of the Inspector General that his mother took a trip with a friend in "late May or early June of 2015," according to a document Boring filed in Ted Kirk's case. 

Nadine Kirk's last record of financial activity was a signed Chase Bank check in January 2010, court documents say. Ted Kirk's last posted wages were in 1980, when he claimed income of $826.  

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email him at Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

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