RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The former guardian of a missing girl with AIDS was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for continuing to cash the child's federal disability checks after she disappeared.

Kim E. Parker, 48, pleaded guilty to two counts of Social Security fraud in July related to the misuse of about $16,000 in payments meant for Brittany Williams.

``While masquerading as a good Samaritan, you were using the victim to perpetrate a fraud on society,'' federal Judge Richard L. Williams told Parker.

Brittany disappeared in August 2000 at age 7 after living with Parker for four years. Parker had become the girl's legal guardian shortly before her birth mother died of AIDS.

Brittany was entitled to receive federal Supplemental Security Income because she was HIV-positive.

According to Parker, she gave Brittany to two women because caring for her had become too burdensome. The women denied ever having custody of Brittany.

``Parker's sentence is a critical step in seeking justice for Brittany Williams,'' said Paul J. McNulty, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. ``However, the case won't be over until Brittany is found.''

Parker's attorney, Todd Stone, said his client has ``cooperated as much as she can.''

Earlier this year, police in Kansas City, Mo., were investigating whether a girl whose decapitated body was found near a park two years earlier was Brittany. The possibility was later ruled out by DNA testing.

A nationwide search for Brittany continues.