Pennsylvania Woman Indicted on Charges She Claimed Dead Man's Social Security Benefits

Friday, April 6, 2012
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A Western Pennsylvania woman has been indicted for tapping the government benefits of a dead man for more than a decade.

Dorothea Barnes, whose place of residence and age were not immediately available, faces a charge of theft of government property and will be arraigned April 26 in U.S. District Court.

For more than a decade, according to the indictment handed up late Wednesday, Ms. Barnes wrote checks against the banking account of James Neely, who died in early 1999. Mr. Neely's bank account was continually refilled with Social Security benefits automatically deposited in a Jackson, Miss., bank account.

In all, Ms. Barnes withdrew $118,223 from the account, according to the indictment.