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Man pleads guilty to collecting mom's benefits after burying her in yard

56-year-old man was charged with aggravated ID theft, bank fraud

Brian Adams and scene where his mother's body was found in June 2015.
Brian Adams and scene where his mother's body was found in June 2015.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A 56-year-old man whose mother was found buried in her Lake Asbury backyard in June 2015 pleaded guilty Monday to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.

Brian Adams, of Jacksonville, faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in federal prison, including a mandatory two-year sentence for aggravated identity theft. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, Adams admitted to authorities that his mother died of natural causes in July 2014 and, instead of notifying anyone, Adams buried her in the backyard of her home in order to continue collecting both her Social Security payments and a pension payment that she received monthly. 

INDICTMENT: U.S. vs. Brian Lee Adams

As part of the theft, Adams used his mother’s name on checks that he would write to transfer money between her accounts. He would then use the funds on himself. The total amount Adams stole was $35,345.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office, working a missing persons case, found Janell Adams' remains buried in the yard of her former home, on Creekfront Drive.

After the remains were found, Brian Adams was arrested in Columbus County, North Carolina, on an outstanding warrant for violating probation out of Baker County in connection with a charge of possession of methamphetamine charge. He was not initially charged in connection with anything involving his mother.