Woman collected benefit checks of mummified grandfather

Published On: Jan 16 2013 06:22:49 AM HST

Alicia Kelly: Collected dead grandfather's benefit checks for 2 years

GREENWOOD, S.C. -

A woman who made-up story about her daughter having cancer to scam money and who swindled the benefit checks of her mummified grandfather has been sentenced to prison time.

On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced 40-year-old Alicia Kelly to 10 months in prison for Social Security fraud.

Investigators said Kelly concealed the death of her grandfather while continuing to receive and use his benefits.

Kelly pleaded guilty in March 2012 to abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, destruction or desecration of human remains, child abuse or neglect, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of swindling.

A charge of abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult was dropped because it was determined that Kelly’s grandfather, Theron “Pete” Lunny, died of natural causes.

Lunny’s mummified body was found in a camper off Highway 34. He had been dead for two years before his body was found in February 2011.   

Authorities investigating the discovery of her grandfather's body in 2011 also learned Kelly had been lying about her daughter having cancer so she could scam money from donors.

Investigators say Kelly asked people to donate money because her 15-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with cancer, but the girl was healthy.

Investigators said Kelly gave them a list of people who were sympathetic to the family's situation and had donated money and goods. According to deputies, one person had given $100 in cash and a laptop computer valued at approximately $400 in Aug. or Sept. 2010.

They said she and her husband, Steven, even set up a website to solicit donations, investigators said.

Alicia Kelly was sentenced to a total of ten years suspended to three years for all the charges, including time served since her incarceration in Feb. 2011.

Steven Kelly has not yet been tried on identical charges.

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