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No prison for woman who stole $176,000 from Social Security

Posted at 2:26 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 14:26:53-05

A Detroit woman who looted the Social Security system for nearly 30 years has been sentenced to a halfway house for stealing $176,000.

Linda Pesenecker's mother died in 1986, but she never informed the government. Her mother's Social Security payments were mailed or flowed into their bank account until 2013.

The U.S. Attorney's Office asked for 18 months in prison Tuesday, noting that Pesenecker forged her mother's signature on a letter when investigators asked about her health.

Prison sentences are uncommon in Social Security cases, even when the fraud is significant. Pesenecker got a break from Judge Bernard Friedman. She'll spend six months in a halfway house with opportunities to leave during the day to work.

She blames her decisions on financial problems and years of trying to stay drug-free.