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Deputy Public Defender Stole Public Money

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - A deputy public defender for Riverside County faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to two felony counts of stealing Social Security benefits.

Audrey Owens, 60, of Upland, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of theft of government property, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. She entered her plea one week before her trial was to begin on two of five counts returned by a federal grand jury in July 2013. There was no plea agreement.

Owens took Social Security destined for her grandmother after her grandmother died. She got more than $129,000 from it before she was nabbed, prosecutors said.

She will be sentenced on June 2.

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