ALBANY – A Schenectady woman stole Social Security money sent to her mother’s account for more than three years after her mother’s death, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Now she must repay nearly $96,000 in restitution, officials said.
Jody Lyons, 53, of Schenectady, pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft of government property. She is to be sentenced in March and won’t be able to appeal any sentence of 16 months or less, according to her plea agreement.
Lyons admitted that she continued to withdraw Social Security survivor’s benefits deposited in her mother’s bank account after her mother’s death in January 2015.
The government wasn’t notified of her mother’s death and the money continued to be deposited into her account, which Lyons had control of. Lyons withdrew the money and spent it, despite knowing she wasn’t entitled to it.
The government didn’t learn of her mother’s death until August 2018, when it discovered the death in an audit. In the meantime. Lyons took a total of $95,961, which she agreed to repay as part of her plea agreement.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.