3+ years prison for stealing dead grandparents’ benefits
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for stealing Social Security benefits for years after her grandparents died in Haiti.
Court records show a judge imposed the sentence Thursday on 49-year-old Myriam Etienne, who was convicted earlier this year of 90 counts of theft of government funds.
Prosecutors say Etiennestole over $160,000, using the money to make payments on a BMW, pay her mortgage and buy airline tickets.
Authorities say the Pompano Beach woman began receiving Social Security on behalf of her grandparents in 2004. Trial evidence revealed that Etienne’s grandfather died in Haiti in 2006, and her grandmother died in Haiti in 2009. But Etienne didn’t report the deaths to the government and kept cashing checks.