PECOS – A Terlingua woman has pleaded guilty to stealing Social Security benefits that were paid to her dead father.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office, 49-year-old Judith Maria Broughton admitted that between June 1990 and August 2011, she stole Social Security Retirement Insurance benefits made payable to her father in the amount of over $245,000.
During the plea hearing, Broughton said that her father died on or about June 5, 1990 and she leased a storage unit in his name at a storage facility in Lexington, Kentucky and continued to make monthly payments in her father's name through March of 2014.
Officials later searched the storage unit that was rented and the mummified remains of her father were discovered.
Broughton also stated that she obtained a joint checking account in her father's name and the Social Security benefits were electronically sent to the account. When officials sought written verification that Broughton's father was still living, she responded with false statements that he was still alive.
The press release also states that Judith's mother, Mary Elizabeth Broughton, was a beneficiary of the Social Security payments.
As you may recall, the search for Mary Elizabeth Broughton is still ongoing at this time and she remains missing.