Woman accused of collecting $320K in benefits from 3 dead husbands

An Orlando, Florida, woman is accused of using her three dead husbands to illegally cash in on more than $320,000 in government benefits.

Investigators said she collected Veterans Affairs, Medicare and Social Security benefits for each of the men even though she remarried.

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Cynthia Brunat, 74, was arrested on suspicion of what investigators said was an organized fraud scheme involving federal benefits.

When asked about the allegations, Brunat said she had no idea about the charges.

“The benefits were directly linked to several for the husbands she was married to,” said Capt. Evangelina Brooks, of the Division of Insurance Fraud.

Investigators said Brunat has been married five times; three of her husbands are deceased, including Jesse Wachter.

In 2014, Wachter's body was found buried face down in his Lake County backyard.

Investigators said he had been bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer.

His son, Jesse Jordan, remains in jail on murder charges.

But during Wachter's 14-year marriage to Brunat, investigators said Brunat applied for Social Security, Medicare and VA benefits connected to two of her former husbands—and never disclosed she had married Wachter.

In all, she received more than $320,000 in benefits to which investigators said she wasn't entitled.

It all came to light after she applied for benefits using Wachter's name after he was killed.

The Division of Insurance Fraud said the $320,000 was calculated covering 12 years while she was married to her most recent husband, but it is still working with federal agencies to find out if more money is involved.