Deborah West, of Norcross, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for stealing federal retirement benefits.
According to the United States Attorney's Office, the 64-year-old West pleaded guilty to the charges of stealing more than $398,000 in benefits that she was not entitled to. She was convicted in June.
Following her 18-month stint in federal prison, West will have three years of supervised release.
"Federal employees work hard to earn retirement benefits to support them during their golden years," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, in a press release. "For fifteen years this defendant shamelessly stole from the federal retirement system, taking what she never worked for and never earned."
Officials say the money West stole came from federal retirement benefits that were initially transferred to her mother once her father died. But, then West's mother also died.
Instead of being notified of the mother's death -- which would have ceased the father's benefits, federal authorities continued to send the retirement monies.
That money was deposited directly into the deceased mother's bank account, and West wrote checks to herself for the money. In all, she stole $398,773.96.