Federal authorities on Friday charged a Philadelphia woman with Social Security fraud for allegedly collecting her mother's survivor's insurance benefits for nearly 18 years after the woman died.

Nancy Gonzalez, 74, is also charged with theft of government funds.

Investigators said the benefits were deposited into a bank account jointly held by Gonzalez and Gonzalez's mother. But after Gonzalez's mother died Dec. 29, 1994, Gonzalez allegedly didn't tell the Social Security Administration.

The benefits continued to be deposited into the account until September 2012, when officials learned of the death and terminated payment, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez received more than $155,400 in benefits payments intended for her mother.

If convicted, Gonzalez faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, a $500,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.