GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A Laurel woman has admitted to stealing nearly $300,000 in Social Security benefits for 16 years after her mother died.

Sixty-six-year-old Yvonne Isadora Whiteman entered the plea and agreed to pay restitution Thursday in federal court in Greenbelt. She faces a maximum of 10 years in prison at sentencing Feb. 2.

According to her plea agreement, Whiteman’s mother’s benefits were paid into an account jointly held by the two women. Prosecutors say Whiteman’s mother moved to Trinidad in 1997 and died there a few months later.

Authorities say the Social Security administration determined in 2013 that Whiteman’s mother was probably dead. Prosecutors say Whiteman gave an SSA official a forged death certificate purporting to show that her mother had died that year.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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