A 56-year-old Florida man could face up to 20 years in prison on charges of continuing to collect more than $35,000 in benefits owed to his dead mother after burying her in the backyard of her home.

Brian Lee Adams of Green Cove Springs, which is southwest of Jacksonville, has pleaded guilty to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida reported. Adams 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.

Adams told authorities that his mother had died of natural causes in July 2014 and, instead of telling anyone, Adams buried her in the backyard of her home, stated a plea agreement. Adams acknowledged to investigators that he had buried his mother after she died in order to continue collecting both her Social Security payments and a pension payment that she received monthly, federal officials said.

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.