FERNDALE, Wash. — Authorities say a Washington state woman suspected of pension fraud was arrested when she tried to open a bank account in her dead mother’s name while disguised as her mother.
Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo says 59-year-old Loewen B. Craft was wearing a gray wig and makeup to make her look older when she arrived this week at a credit union branch in Ferndale, Wash.
The sheriff alleges Craft fraudulently collected more than $145,000 in pension benefits since her mother, Betty Becker, died in 2007.
Detective John Allgire was waiting at the credit union. He arrested Craft for investigation of first-degree identity theft, criminal impersonation and multiple counts of forgery.
The sheriff says the scheme began to unravel when the detective started investigating an unrelated arson case. He learned that Becker had been admitted to St. Joseph hospital in 2007 and died on April 23, 2007.