A 56-year-old Green Cove Springs man accused of burying his dead mother in her yard and stealing her government benefits pleaded guilty Monday to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, the Department of Justice announced.

Authorities say that Brian lee Adams' mother died of natural causes sometime before July 4, 2014 and claims he buried her in her backyard to hide her death. After that he began stealing her pension funds and Social Security benefits.

Adams admits he buried her body instead of telling anyone that she died, the release from the Department of Justice says.

He told investigators he wanted to collect her benefits and so he would forge her name on checks that he'd write to transfer money between bank accounts, the release says.

Investigators say he stole $35,345 in benefits.

Adams faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in federal prison, including a mandatory minimum of 2 years for the aggravated identity theft charges.

A sentencing date has not been set in his case.