TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey man has admitted not reporting his great aunt’s death to the government in order to collect nearly $185,000 in Social Security benefits for nearly 20 years.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito says 56-year-old Lance Nelson pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Trenton. NJ.com reports Nelson, who worked as an assistant zoning officer for Perth Amboy through the end of 2017, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He is to be sentenced April 17.

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.


Information from: NJ Advance Media.