Prosecutor: Woman took grandparents’ social security funds

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – A Florida woman accused of pocketing her late grandparents’ Social Security benefits has pleaded not guilty.

The Sun Sentinel reports 49-year-old Myriam Etienne pleaded not guilty to 90 counts of theft of government funds on Monday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

Prosecutor Randy Katz says Etienne collected Social Security Administration payments that were intended for her grandfather, who died in 2003, and her grandmother, who died in 2008. She is accused of receiving $125,000 in benefits that were direct-deposited into a joint bank account that she shared with her grandparents.

Investigators say they stopped payments when the fraud was discovered in 2016. The monthly payments totaled over $1,400.

Etienne is being represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office and was released on $100,000 bond.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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