- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - A Houston-area woman who since the 1990s used a stolen identity to get government benefits faces up to five years in prison for Social Security fraud.

Jerrie Mona Chesney of Willis pleaded guilty Thursday in Houston to theft of public money. The 67-year-old Chesney remains free on bond pending sentencing.

Federal prosecutors say Chesney wrongly received $388,000 in government assistance from 1995 until 2014. Prosecutors didn’t immediately say how the scheme unraveled, leading to Chesney’s 2015 indictment.

Investigators say Chesney read a newspaper story on the 1986 death of a woman from Orange, contacted her family, lied about being a friend and secured some personal information.

Chesney also scammed a funeral home for additional details, then secured a driver’s license and a Social Security card in the dead woman’s name.

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This story has been corrected to fix spelling of Chesney in 2nd paragraph and summary.


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