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Judge orders house arrest for Daphne man who admitted four-year spending spree with dead woman’s debit card

By Brendan Kirby

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — A federal judge on Friday cut a break to a Daphne man who admitted to using a dead woman’s debit card to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in purchases.

Kenneth Ingram Tatum pleaded guilty in April to theft of government money. His attorney, Stewart Hanley, asked for a sentencing break based on the fact that the defendant requires intensive medication from a motorcycle accident. Federal prosecutors indicated that they did not object to a non-prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose sentenced Tatum to three months on probation and ordered him to pay $67,954 that he stole.

Tatum admitted that while working for a corpse removal company in Florida, he took a dead woman’s debit card as he was moving the body from Orlando Health Hospital to a funeral home in 2916. Over the next four years, he rang up $69,954 in purchases. Bank of America eventually returned about $20,000 that was still in the account.

Court records indicate that Tatum’s spending spree lasted so long because the Social Security Administration inadvertently continued to deposit monthly payments of $1,777 into her bank account.

According to Tatum’s written plea agreement, he used the money to buy guns and other equipment from a gun shop in Spanish Fort. He even used the debit card to pay the fee for a pistol permit from the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office in November 2018.

The owner of a service station in Daphne told investigators that the defendant brought his car and several other vehicles belonging to “girlfriends” to get repaired, according to court records.

Other expenditures listed in the plea document include a $500 payment on the purchase on a 2018 Harley Davidson Street Glide motorcycle in Pensacola, utility bills for properties in Daphne and Fairhope, as well as multiple items he bought at work during his shift as a security officer at Thomas Hospital in Fairhope.

In a court filing, Hanley told the judge that his client suffered injuries during a 2019 motorcycle accident that caused “a myriad of extraordinary medical conditions and ailments.” Imprisoning him would be significantly more dangerous for Tatum and, his lawyer argued, create complications for the Bureau of Prisons.

“As such, should Mr. Tatum be sentenced to imprisonment, the BOP would be required to expend an unusually large number of resources in terms of monies and manpower in order to address his medical needs,” he wrote. “Mr. Tatum submits that his physical condition is of the above-described nature, and that his imprisonment would prove inefficient and more costly than home confinement.”

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