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Man claiming to be blind stole government benefits, feds say

ALBANY, N.Y. - An upstate New York man who claimed to be blind has been convicted of stealing government benefits after surveillance videos showed him driving, shopping and moving about without assistance.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Albany says 48-year-old John Caltabiano of Catskill and 43-year-old Colleen McCarten of Coxsackie were convicted last Friday of charges that included conspiracy, mail fraud and theft of government property.

Prosecutors say that between April 2008 and October 2010 Caltabiano and McCarten scammed Social Security and other benefits from the government and an insurance company by claiming Caltabiano was completely blind.

They face up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy and mail fraud charges and a maximum of 10 years on the theft of government property count when they're sentenced Feb. 18.

Officials didn't release the amount of benefits Caltabiano received.

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