- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A Springfield man who operated a rental property business worth $600,000 but claimed to have no income has been convicted of stealing $150,000 in welfare benefits.

The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/2mxl3wn) that a jury in U.S. District Court in Eugene on Thursday convicted 82-year-old Parthava Behesht Nejad of wire fraud and theft.

Authorities say Nejad received disability benefits since 2003 despite operating eight rental properties in Springfield.

He told the Internal Revenue Service that his foundation was a church that provided temporary housing for victims of religious persecution.

But authorities say Nejad had been operating the properties as rentals since the 1980s and deposited money into a secret bank account with a balance of more than $30,000.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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