Pa. man pleads guilty to count of mail fraud

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A man accused of illegally collecting more than $115,000 in railroad retirement annuity benefits intended for his mother, who had died, pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
Norman Merle Carrigan, 73, of Bellevue, was indicted last year on 10 counts of mail fraud, but prosecutors let him plead to one count Friday and dismissed the rest.
As the widow of a railroad employee, Marie Carrigan was entitled to benefits for the rest of her life. When the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board tried to present her with a commemorative letter for her birthday, authorities said, Norman Carrigan told the board his mother had died Nov. 23, 2003. She actually died June 23, 1987.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Dembosky said Carrigan forged his mother's signature on the benefit checks and deposited them into his own account. Carrigan is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 12.

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