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NY Woman Pleads Guilty to Concealing Tenant’s Death, Collecting His Social Security Benefits

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What to Know

  • A central New York woman pleaded guilty to her involvement in concealing the death of a tenant and taking his Social Security retirement benefits, prosecutors said
  • TammyLynn Sterling Barthelmess, 62, of Little Falls, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to steal government funds and three counts of bank fraud, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported
  • Barthelmess also admitted to concealing the death of Donald Wichelns, who died in her home in 2006

A central New York woman pleaded guilty to her involvement in concealing the death of a tenant and taking his Social Security retirement benefits, prosecutors said.

TammyLynn Sterling Barthelmess, 62, of Little Falls, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to steal government funds and three counts of bank fraud, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported. Barthelmess also admitted to concealing the death of Donald Wichelns, who died in her home in 2006.

Wichelns' body was discovered in an advanced state of decomposition in May 2013 in a dog crate behind an unoccupied home Barthelmess owned, prosecutors said. Barthelmess and her daughter used Wichelns' checking account to steal his monthly retirement benefits.

Barthelmess also agreed to pay about $110,000 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 24.

Barthelmess' daughter previously pleaded guilty.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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