ATLANTA — Dyann E. Ramo, 66, of Canton, has been sentenced to three years on probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $196,067 for stealing her deceased mother’s Social Security benefits for nearly 20 years, U.S. Attorney BJay Pak announced Wednesday.

Pak said Ramo has been sentenced to three years on probation with the first year in home confinement after she pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds related to her concealing her mother’s death.

“Ramo went to great lengths to conceal her theft and enjoy the benefits to which she was not entitled,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “She continued her deception until she was indicted by a grand jury. Only then did she finally own up to her graft.”

According to Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: Ramo’s mother Virginia died in 1999. No one reported her death to Social Security and her retirement benefits continued to be paid.

In 2013, 2014 and three different times in 2018, Social Security employees attempted to confirm whether Virginia Ramo was alive, and each time, Ramo insisted that her mother was alive, Pak said.

In an attempt to maintain her fraud, Pak said she claimed a Georgia death certificate in her mother’s name was a “mistake,” and even impersonated her mother on the telephone on two separate occasions. Ramo finally admitted that her mother was deceased after she was indicted by a federal grand jury.

“Concealing a death to improperly receive Social Security benefits is a Federal crime—one that we aggressively pursue to maintain the public trust in Social Security’s vital programs,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “We work closely with SSA and other agencies to identify beneficiary deaths, and track benefits paid after death. I greatly appreciate the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to pursue justice and recover stolen funds in these cases.”