A Philadelphia woman was charged late Monday with government theft and Social Security fraud in connection with a scheme to collect survivor benefits to which she wasn't entitled.
Hattie Gause, 72, of West Oak Lane, was charged by criminal information, a process that typically indicates a plea deal is in the works.
Federal prosecutors said Gause applied for, and was issued, a second Social Security card in 1966 using the name "Hattie Taylor."
The charging document said Gause resided with a man, identified only as "L.T.," for several years prior to his death in 1989. (Gause and L.T. were never married, the information said.)
In about 2000, Gause applied for survivor's benefits, prosecutors said, asserting she was entitled to the benefits based on the death of L.T., who she said was her husband at the time of his death.
As a result of her fraudulent use of a Social Security number and false statements about her marriage to L.T., Gause received almost $88,000 in survivor's benefits from September 2000 through May 2011 she wasn't entitled to, prosecutors said.