Seattle woman sentenced for Social Security fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle woman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison plus three years of probation for illegally collecting her dad's Social Security benefits for more than 19 years after he died.

Fifty-seven-year-old Patty Buchanan was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says Buchanan forged documents and even had someone impersonate her father on the telephone so she could continue collecting his Social Security after he died in 1993. She was charged with making more than $900,000 in fraudulent collections.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman also ordered her to Buchanan to pay nearly $240,000 in restitution.

This case was one of the largest Social Security benefit fraud cases prosecuted in Washington since a national effort against benefit fraud began.

An anonymous tip to Social Security ended the fraud in December 2012.