Mississippi Woman Convicted of Stealing Widow's Benefits

Date: 
Monday, June 2, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A South Mississippi jury has convicted a Kiln woman on a theft charge involving about $75,000 in widow's survivor benefits originally awarded to her mother.

The Sun Herald reports Virginia Edelman was found guilty Tuesday at trial in U.S. District Court.

The jury believed testimony that Edelman's mother is dead but Edelman has used the government money, deposited in their joint account, for more than 11 years.

She remains free on bond pending sentencing.

An indictment filed in October accused Edelman of stealing benefits from the Social Security Survivors Insurance Benefits program in Hancock County from May 1, 2000, through Oct. 1, 2011. Judge Sul Ozerden set a sentencing date for Aug. 21.

Theft of government funds is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.