ST. LOUIS – A Dellwood man appeared in federal court on Thursday and admitted cashing his dead mother’s Social Security checks for the past 26 years.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Reginald Bagley confessed to stealing $197,329 in Social Security benefits to which he was not entitled.

According to court documents, Bagley’s mother died on March 12, 1994. Her death was not reported to the Social Security Administration. In 1998, a bank account was opened to receive direct deposits of her Social Security.

Bank statements on that account went to Bagley’s address, either in his name or his mother’s.

At one point, the Social Security Administration learned Bagley’s mother was not using her Medicare benefits, and sent her a letter to try and contact her.

On July 24, 2020, Bagley closed the bank account that had been receiving his mother’s benefits, and took a cashier’s check for the remaining balance.

Bagley, 62, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of stealing money from the United States.

Bagley will be sentenced on March 29, 2023. He faces up to a decade in prison and a $250,000. He’ll also be ordered to repay the money.