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Courts and Crime

Man charged with swiping dead mom’s retirement money
Ohio Public Employee Retirement Savings is investigating the thousands of dollars stolen.

Bill Cohen
In The Region:

A Washington state man has been indicted on three criminal charges, alleging he stole more than $100,000 from Ohio’s Public Employees Retirement System.

Authorities say Raymond O’Dell collected retirement benefits meant for his mother for 22 years after she died. PERS officials say they caught the scam because they've been double-checking records for retirees older than 100, and O’Dell’s mother would have been 101 years old last year.

Now, the agency says it’s going to start scrutinizing records for retirees older than 90. And Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says there’s another red flag to start looking at.

Prosecutor on keys to identity theft

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“Someone who is 90 years old and is collecting either Social Security or PERS benefits, if they have zero health care costs, that might be a tip that something is awry here,” O'Brien said. 

Raymond O’Dell is charged with three felonies. Prosecutor O'Brien says O’Dell is cooperating with authorities through his attorney.
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