A 45-year-old Prairieville woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to the theft of more than $77,000 Veterans’ Affairs benefits that were intended for her mother, who died four years ago, U.S. Attorney Walt Green reported Tuesday.

Michelle Akridge admitted to U.S. District Judge James J. Brady that she stole the Veterans’ Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Green said that Akridge failed to report her mother’s death and illegally collected the benefit checks for four years.

“This kind of criminal conduct is an affront to all those who have served honorably in this country’s armed services,” Green said in a release.

This investigation is being conducted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Office of Inspector General. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica M.P. Thornhill.