Woman sentenced for stealing $400K in retirement benefits

10:32 AM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
(AP file)
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NORCROSS, Ga. -- A Norcross woman has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for stealing retirement benefits from her deceased mother's account.

Deborah West, 64, pleaded guilty in June to the charge against her. She will also spend three years on supervised release when her prison term ends.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said both of West's parents were federal employees who received retirement benefits from the government. West's father died in 1980 and his benefits legally transferred to West's mother.

When West's mother passed away in 1993, the government never learned of her death and continued to deposit benefit money into her bank account.

Yates said West wrote checks to herself from her mother's account and didn't tell the government of her mother's death. Between 1993 and 2008, West took more than $398,000.

At her sentencing, West was ordered to pay $398,773.96 in restitution.

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