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Ex-Bellevue man sentenced for cashing dead mom's Soc. Security

SEATTLE (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office says a 70-year-old former Bellevue man who collected his dead mother's Social Security benefits for 23 years has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for his fraud.

Raymond O'Dell was also ordered Monday to pay more than $188,000 in restitution and a $20,000 fine. He was also sentenced to six months of home detention. He now lives in Arizona.

Federal prosecutors in Seattle say O'Dell is the last of a series of defendants to be sentenced for illegally collecting Social Security benefits after the true recipient died.

On at least two occasions, prosecutors say O'Dell provided false information to the Social Security Administration to continue the fraud. His mother died in November 1989.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says, in her words, "Cheaters shred the safety net for those that really need it."

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