A man in Florida recently faced charges related to his deceased mother. The 56-year-old man may face up to more than a decade behind bars if things don’t go his way at his sentencing hearing. He has already entered a guilty plea regarding the aggravated white collar crime associated with his deceased mother’s Social Security benefits.

The man apparently ran a scheme where he continued to sign his mother’s name on checks after she died. He used the checks to transfer money between her accounts. All told, he collected at least $35,000 in benefits to which his mother would have been entitled if she were still alive.

The man told investigators his mother passed away in 2014.  He further stated that instead of telling anyone she had died, he buried her in her own backyard so that he could continue collecting her benefits. He pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and theft of government property.

A white collar crime can refer to any number of offenses, generally non-violent in nature, that have been committed through fraudulent means in order to seek financial gain. There are several reasons why a defense attorney might advise a defendant to plead guilty to some or all charges. Anyone in Florida with questions regarding such matters can seek answers by requesting a meeting with a criminal lawyer who has guided others through similar processes in court. Often, discussing a situation in person helps clarify certain issues and provides information that lends itself to making informed decisions regarding possible defense strategies.

Source: USA Today, “Florida man buries dead mom to collect her benefits“, Nov. 2, 2016

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