Honolulu man admits to taking dead mom's checks

HONOLULU (AP) - A Honolulu man says he collected more than $200,000 in state disability benefits for his dead mother.

Steven Splater pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to three counts of mail fraud. A federal indictment alleges he collected his mother's disability benefit checks even though she died in 2000.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports 58-year-old Splater says he collected the checks because his mother wanted him to do so.

The indictment says he filed documents with the state Department of Labor in 2003 saying he had power of attorney for his mother, Edith Splater, who he claimed was still alive.

He faces maximum 20-year sentences for each count of mail fraud. He could also be ordered to pay the state back nearly $224,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June.

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