North Carolina woman pleads guilty to charge connected to collecting deceased mother’s Social Security benefits

Published 2:28 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

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A Wilmington woman pleaded guilty Wednesday, February 16, 2022 to theft of government property, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, Antoinette Andrea Colbert, 49, of Wilmington, pleaded guilty to theft of government property in connection with the ongoing receipt and use of her deceased mother’s Social Security benefits for more than a decade.

“The investigation showed that the defendant’s mother passed away in 2007, but her death was never reported to the Social Security Administration by family,” stated the release. “Then, in 2008, after her mother’s death, Social Security mailings were rerouted to the defendant’s address in Wilmington, North Carolina. Various benefit card replacements were also routed to the defendant’s address. The defendant was also identified on bank footage utilizing her deceased mother’s Social Security benefits.”

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Colbert pleaded guilty to a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641 and faces a maximum of up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in May 2022.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II accepted the plea. The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Gilmore is prosecuting.