Georgia woman gets prison for stealing dead grandmother’s retirement pay

A Georgia woman was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to stealing her late grandmother’s retirement benefits for years, the state Attorney General’s Office said Friday.

Chiquita Rivers of Sylvester, the granddaughter of a retired Worth County schoolteacher, pleaded guilty in Tift County Superior Court to seven counts of forgery in the first degree.

Rivers’ grandmother died in 1994, but the Teachers’ Retirement System of Georgia inadvertently kept paying her retirement benefits until discovering her death in February 2010, authorities said.

Rivers stole the benefits by cashing forged checks written from her deceased grandmother’s bank account, officials said.

Her prison sentence will be followed by 16 years of probation, and she must pay restitution of $19,385.

Earlier this month, the son of a former East Atlanta High School School principal was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing his deceased father’s retirement pay.

Eugene B. Wimby Jr. was convicted of 14 felony counts of theft by taking. Prosecutors said he stole more than $53,000 in payments from TRS after his father, Eugene B. Wimby Sr., died in September 2008.

His prison sentence was commuted to the 120 days he had already served, and he was ordered to serve the balance on probation. He also was ordered to pay $49,829.13 restitution to TRS, which prosecutors said he had done.

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