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ALBANY, Ga. -- An Albany, Ga., man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after admitting to stealing his young sons' Social Security survivors' benefits.

Christopher Castleberry, 49, pleaded guilty in June to the charges against him.

According to prosecutors, Castleberry's wife died in 2001, and the couple's two minor children began receiving Title II benefits.

In 2009, the children moved in with their maternal grandparents. Castleberry reportedly refused to sign paperwork that would allow the grandparents to enroll the children in school, making the boys unable to attend and graduate from high school.

Although his sons were not living with him, Castleberry continued to complete paperwork that would allow him to receive their Social Security benefits. He lied on the paperwork, saying the boys still lived with him and the money was being spent on their care.

"This defendant stole his sons' benefits and left them to be raised by their maternal grandparents while he continued to receive and spend their money," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a release. "We hope that this sentence gives the boys a small measure of comfort to know that the defendant will answer for his crime against them."

A federal court also ordered Castleberry to pay $46,200 in restitution and spend three years on supervised release when he gets out of prison.

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