TRENTON — A former Monmouth County official who collected Social Security benefits paid to his wife for more than four years after she died has been spared a prison term.

Brian Unger was sentenced Monday to two years of probation. He must pay $83,000 in restitution.

Unger is a former Long Branch city councilman who now lives in Puerto Rico. He pleaded guilty in October to a theft charge.

Federal prosecutors say Unger's wife began collecting Social Security disability benefits in March 2008.

Unger's wife died in June 2009. But Unger continued collecting her benefits until October 2013, using the money for personal expenses.

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