The penalties for forging and cashing someone else's social security check include a fine or imprisonment ? or both. The amount of the fine and term of imprisonment depends on investigative findings and judgment of the court.
Unlawfully obtaining someone else's social security benefits, forging their signature and cashing the check is considered to be "aggravated identity theft" under the broad category of identity theft as per the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act of 2004, according to the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime. Theft of social security benefits is a felony offense. If convicted, the offender may be fined up to $10,000, imprisoned and required to repay the amount of benefits he or she obtained. The Identity Theft and Restitution Act of 2008 adds that offenders may also be ordered to pay damages to the victim.