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Public defender charged with stealing SS benefits

Posted: June 26, 2013 8:00 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2013 8:00 p.m.
 

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Riverside County deputy public defender has surrendered to federal authorities after being charged with stealing approximately $129,795 of her dead grandmother's Social Security benefits.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 60-year-old Audrey Owens of Upland was charged June 10 with theft of government property in a scheme that spanned 12 years.

According to court papers, Owens fraudulently obtained benefits intended for her grandmother, who died in May 2000. After her grandmother's death, Owens changed the address of a joint account she shared with her grandmother and continued to receive payments intended for her grandmother.

Owens is charged with one felony count that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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