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San Diego man accused of cashing dead mother's checks for 15 years

May 27, 2009 |  4:18 pm

A 66-year-old model railroad buff has been charged with cashing his dead mother's Social Security and pension checks for 15 years after she died and was buried in their backyard.

Rand Washburn is charged with two counts of grand theft for cashing checks worth more than $300,000 starting in 1994.

In January, police found the body of Washburn's mother, Emily Fox, buried in the backyard of the home they shared in the Clairemont neighborhood. A neighbor had told police that Washburn said he buried his mother.

Fox would have been 82 when Washburn began cashing her checks, officials said. An autopsy could not determine the cause of death, and Washburn is not suspected of foul play in his mother's death.

Washburn is a member of the Model Railroad Museum board of directors.

--Tony Perry