PITTSBURGH. Jury indicts woman in check fraud


PITTSBURGH -- A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted a Farrell, Pa., woman on charges she cashed and used the money from 97 Social Security checks issued to her on behalf of a relative for more than eight years after his death.
According to U.S. Attorney Linda Kelly, Cynthia Smith, 42, of Hamilton Avenue, was the representative payee for the late Frank Smith, who was also a Farrell resident.
As payee, Cynthia Smith was allowed to receive and handle Frank Smith's monthly Social Security benefits, Kelly said. She said after Frank Smith's death in 1991, Cynthia Smith continued to cash a total of $69,789 in Social Security checks on behalf of Frank Smith.
If convicted of the six-count indictment, Cynthia Smith could face up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $1.5 million or both, authorities said.

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