Man sentenced for making unlawful purchases using deceased individual's Oregon Trail card

Multnomah Co. District Attorney's Office - 07/17/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced a 36 month formal probation sentence for 53-year-old Michael Mahoney after the defendant found his friend deceased inside a residence, took his wallet and made unlawful purchases without notifying police or family members about the victim’s death.
Mahoney appeared before Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey on July 17, 2018 and pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully using a food stamp benefit and one count of identity theft. He was immediately sentenced to 36 months of formal probation as part of the Multnomah County Justice Reinvestment Program (MCJRP).

During Tuesday’s sentencing, the family of James Bland, informed the court that Mr. Bland met the defendant while receiving treatment services.
“The point I want to make is that my dad was more than just a victim…he was also a human being,” Mr. Bland’s daughter, Hannah Bland said in court during sentencing. “He was ridiculously funny and charming.”
Ms. Bland went on to state that she and her father were very close. She would spend time with him on the weekends and would FaceTime with him every night.
“When Mike found my dad on the floor in his room, he never called me to come help. Moreover, he didn’t even call the police to report his death,” Ms. Bland said in court. “Instead, he took the wallet off my dad’s body and proceeded to not only sped my dad’s money, but also used my dad’s (sic) food stamps.”
Ms. Bland said she found out about her father’s death after receiving a phone call from the medical examiner.

“I was not able to celebrate with my dad when I got into college or have him at my high school graduation,” Ms. Bland said. “Even though my dad was an alcoholic, he was still a human being and deserved dignity in his last moments.” 
This investigation started on December 5, 2017 when officers assigned to the Portland Police Bureau responded to Mr. Bland’s residence and located him deceased. Mr. Bland had passed away several weeks earlier of natural causes.
“The defendant’s actions were extremely hurtful and disrespectful to the victim’s family,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Sean Mazorol, who prosecuted this case. “Michael Mahoney almost got away with these crimes. We’re here today holding him responsible after members of Mr. Bland’s family discovered someone had used his debit and Oregon Trail cards after his death. These purchases occurred at Walmart, Plaid Pantry, Winco and Safeway.”
During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Mahoney had located Mr. Bland deceased inside the residence around November 22, 2017 and failed to make appropriate notifications.
“We believe today’s sentence of 36 months of probation and restitution is appropriate in this matter,” said Deputy District Attorney Mazorol. “The defendant put the Bland family through so much additional grief. We trust this sentence will allow him to get the alcohol and mental health services and treatment he needs.”

The Multnomah County Justice Reinvestment Program (MCJRP) recognizes Multnomah County’s historical responsible use of Oregon Department of Corrections, and other public safety resources, both before and after the passage of HB3194. The MCJRP platform establishes a process to assess offenders and provide a continuum of community-based sanctions, services and programs that are designed to reduce recidivism, decrease the county’s utilization of imprisonment in DOC institutions while protecting public safety and holding offenders accountable.
As part of the sentencing, the defendant was ordered to pay $156.17 in restitution to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and $367.45 to the Bland family. While on probation, he will not be allowed to consume or be present at any location that serves alcohol.
Members of the media: The family of Mr. Bland has agreed to release several photo as part of this press release.