A Rhode Island man has pleaded guilty to collecting over $250,000 in Social Security benefits intended for his mother for more than 16 years after she died.

Seventy-two-year-old Scituate resident Luke Clarke pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence to theft of government funds. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 12.

Federal prosecutors say the Social Security Administration was never notified of Clarke's mother's death in January 1998. They say Clarke continued receiving her monthly retirement benefits that were deposited into a joint bank account until last October.

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This story has been corrected to show that defendant's last name is spelled Clarke, not Clark.