A New Jersey man has been charged with stealing nearly $185,000 in federal social security benefits sent to his great aunt for 18 years after she died, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors announced charges against 56-year-old Lance Nelson on Wednesday.
The Perth Amboy resident is represented by a federal public defender who, under office policy, doesn't comment on cases.
Prosecutors say the Social Security Administration was unaware of Nelson's great aunt's death in 1998 and continued sending monthly benefits to a joint account he had access to until February 2016.
They say he transferred money into his own account and withdrew additional money using ATMs.
Nelson faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
He is an assistant zoning officer for Perth Amboy.