2 are sent to prison for disability fraud

NORTH AUGUSTA — Au­thor­ities say two North Au­gusta women who falsely claimed to be blind have been sentenced to five months in federal prison for stealing nearly $200,000 in fraudulent Social Security payments.

U.S. Attorney Bill Net­tles said Thursday that Ri­ta Sherlock, 38, and Mary Sher­lock, 42, have been receiving Social Security disability payments since the mid-1990s by claiming to be blind. They had valid South Carolina driver’s licenses and had been cited for traffic violations.

Nettles said each woman pleaded guilty to theft of government funds. Their sentences will be followed by five months of house arrest. Rita Sherlock must repay the government more than $100,000, and Mary Sher­lock must repay nearly $92,000.

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